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iiiMiffi»iMiifam^ 


NYPL  RESEARCH  LIBRARIES 


3  3433  08044186  2 


l^'o 


HISTORY  OF 

FORT  DODGE 

AND 

WEBSTER  COUNTY 

IOWA 


By  H.  M.  PRATT 


ADVISORY  BOARD 


Hon.  \V.  S.  Kenyon 

Emory  A.  Rolfe 

Mrs.  Jonathan  P.  Dolliver 

Webb  Vincent 

Ha!  C.  Fuller 


Hon.O.  :\r.  Oleson 
Mrs.  John  F.  Dun  combe 
Dr.  G.  D.  Hart 
D.  S.  Coughlan 
M.  F.  Healy 
C.  P..  Johnson 


C.  A.  Roberts 
LB.  Parks 
C.  V.  Findlay 
H.  O.  Baldwin 
Mrs.  C.  B.  Hepler 


VOLUME  I 


*     '     > 


::• 


*   * 


» *    * 

•  •  *  • 
•  •  »  »  •• 


CHICAGO 

THE  PIONEER  PUBLISHING  COMPANY 

1913 


SOT 


THE  NEW  YCBK 
PUBLIC    UBRARV 

^S'tlH.  tSNOX  AND- 
Te.OEW  FOUNDATIONS 

ft       wia       I, 


*  •■ . 
» »  ' 


.  «  » «• 


•    c     «    » 


1 1  <  t 


MR.  AND  MRS.  H.  M.  PRATT 


\\fO 


CONTENTS 


CHAPTER  I 

GEOLOGY  AND  TOPOGRAPHY   OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY I 

CHAPTER  n 

ON  THE   WAY   TO   IOWA I3 

CHAPTER  HI 

THE    MOUND    BUILDERS 23 

CHAPTER  IV 

THE  RED    MAN    IN    IOWA 29 

CHAPTER  V 

THE  LOUISIANA   PURCHASE  AND  TERRITORIAL   IOWA 39 

CHAPTER  VI 

THE  COMING  OF  THE   WHITE    MAN 59 

CHAPTER  VII 

ORGANIZATION  AND  GOVERNMENT  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 7I 

CHAPTER  VIII 

THE  COUNTY   ELECTIONS 83 

CHAPTER  IX 

WEBSTER   COUNTY  IN   CIVIL    WAR 93 

CHAPTER  X 

WEBSTER   COUNTY   IN   THE   SPANLSH-AMERICAN    WAR I39 

iii 


iv  CONTEXTS 

CHAPTER  X.I 

REGULARS  AND  MILITIA I5I 

CHAPTER  XH 

THE   MAYORS   OF   FORT   DODGE 1 55 

CHAPTER  XHI 

EARLY  TRADES  AND  TRADERS 165 

CHAPTER  XI\^ 

FORT  DODGE   SCHOOLS 1/5 

CHAPTER  X\' 

FORT  DODGE   CHURCHES • 181 

CHAPTER  XVI 

PUBLIC    BUILDINGS    AND    PARKS I95 

CHAPTER  XMI 

WOMAN    AND    HER    CLUBS 201 

CHAPTER  XVHI 

THE  SPIRIT   LAKE    MASSACRE   AND    EXPEDITION 211 

CHAPTER  XIX 

BUILDING  A  RAILROAD 221 

CHAPTER  XX 

THE  COMING   OF   THE    "CIIARLES   ROGERs" 225 

CHAPTER  XXI 

HISTORY    OF   THE   RIVER-LAND   GRANT 23 1 

CHAPTER  XXII 

THE    CARDIFF    GIANT 239 

CHAPTER  XXIII 

BREAKING  PRAIRIE  AND  OTHER  SKETCHES 245 


CONTEXTS  V 

CHAPTER  XXIV 

THE  TOWNSHIPS  AND  TOWXS 259 

CHAPTER  XX\' 

LEGISLATIVE,  JUDICIAL  AND  CONGRESSIONAL   HISTORY 289 

CHAPTER  XX\'I 

ET  CETERA 295 


History  of  Webster  County 

CHAPTER  I 
GEOLOGY  AND  TOPOGRAPHY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

BY  JAMES  H.   LEES,  ASSISTANT  STATE  GEOLOGIST 

INTRODUCTORY 

This  chapter  aims  to  present  briefly  the  history  of  the  growth  and  develop- 
ment of  Webster  county's  rock  formations  and  surface  features.  In  order  to 
correctly  understand  the  landscape  of  today  we  must  know  the  forces  which  have 
been  at  work  building  up  massive  beds  of  rock  and  clay  and  gravel,  those  which 
have  chiseled  out  the  hills  and  the  vallevs  as  the  artist  carves  his  statue  or  molds 
his  model,  those  which  have  made  the  crooked  ways  straight  and  the  rough  places 
plain,  have  cut  down  the  hills  and  filled  up  the  valleys.  So  we  must  go  back, 
not  to  the  beginning,  indeed,  but  far  back  to  the  time  when  life  had  its  beginnings, 
uncounted  ages  ago,  and  we  shall  find  that  even  then  the  same  forces  and  agents 
were  at  work  which  are  today  efifective  in  giving  our  world  its  present  form. 
The  rivers  carried  to  the  oceans  their  burdens  washed  from  the  land,  the  winds 
did  their  work,  mighty  volcanoes  poured  out  their  floods  of  molten  rock  and 
under  the  seas  were  being  laid  down  the  foundations  of  the  future  continents. 
Nothing  could  be  further  from  the  truth  than  the  current  conception  that  the 
forms  of  nature  which  we  see  about  us  are  fixed  and  unchangeable.  Tennyson 
aptly  and  beautifully  expresses  the  marvelous  truth  when  he  says : 

"There  rolls  the  deep  where  grew  the  tree, 
O  earth  what  changes  hast  thou  seen ! 
There  where  the  long  street  roars,  hath  been 
The  stillness  of  the  central  sea. 

"The  hills  are  shadows,  and  they  flow 

From  form  to  form  and  nothing  stands ; 
They  melt  like  mists,  the  solid  lands, 
Like  clouds  they  shape  themselves  and  go." 

So  all   through   the  centuries   the   lands   have   been   changing  their   form   while 
from  their  wastage  have  been  builded  new  lands  on  the  ocean  floors. 


2  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

We  know  nothing  of  the  results  of  this  early  world-building  in  Iowa.  All 
the  rocks  which  were  then  formed,  whether  by  quiet  deposition  on  ocean  bottoms 
or  by  volcanic  eruptions,  are  deeply  buried  and  have  never  been  revealed  by  the 
deepest  searchings  within  the  state.  Since  they  are  known  elsewhere  we  know 
that  Iowa  must  be  built  upon  their  ancient  pediments. 

GEOLOGY 

Away  oft'  in  the  northwestern  corner  of  Iowa  there  comes  to  the  surface  a 
very  hard  rock  known  to  geologists  as  the  Sioux  quartzite,  and  usually,  though 
incorrectly,  called  Sioux  Falls  granite.  This  same  rock  forms  great  clififs  and 
waterfalls  at  Sioux  Falls,  Luverne  and  Pipestone.  It  is  the  oldest  rock  exposed 
in  Iowa  and  is  a  sandstone  which  has  been  made  exceedingly  hard  by  secondary 
cementation.  It  is  known  to  extend  entirely  across  the  state,  for  it  has  been 
reached  in  several  deep  wells  and  comes  to  the  surface  in  Wisconsin.  In  the  off- 
shore waters  of  the  old  Algonkian  ocean  this  sandstone  gradually  accumulated  and 
then  as  the  sea  floor  slowly  rose  above  the  water,  during  long  ages  this  sand- 
stone, now  hardened  to  quartzite,  was  attacked  and  eroded  by  all  the  powers  of 
air  and  moisture.  Again  the  sea  encroached  upon  the  land  and  buried  it  under 
a  vast  accumulation  of  sands  which  are  known  to  us  now  as  the  Saint  Croix 
sandstones.  The  accompanying  diagram  will  serve  to  make  clear  the  succession 
of  strata  as  here  described.  Whether  the  entire  area  of  the  Sioux  cjuartzite  was 
covered  is  not  known  but  if  it  was  considerable  areas  must  have  been  laid  bare 
since,  for  in  northwestern  Iowa  much  of  the  succession  as  given  in  the  chart  is 
absent.  For  Webster  county  the  succession  is  fairly  complete,  with  the  excep- 
tion of  the  Upper  Devonian,  ^Missouri  and  Cretaceous.  This  is  well  shown 
in  the  record  of  the  deep  well  at  Fort  Dodge,  which  has  a  depth  of  1,827^/^ 
feet  and  penetrates  the  sandstones  of  the  Jordan  to  a  depth  of  59  feet. 

The  Saint  Croix  sandstones  are  Iowa's  great  source  of  supply  for  artesian 
waters  although  many  of  the  deep  wells  draw  their  waters  from  higher  beds. 
Another  important  water-bearing  stratum  is  the  Saint  Peter  sandstone.  While 
not  so  thick  as  the  Saint  Croix  it  is  very  widespread  and  constant  and  therefore 
(|uite  reliable. 

It  is  not  necessary  to  describe  here  all  the  succession  of  rock  deposits  and 
events  in  the  geological  history  of  our  county.  Suffice  it  to  say  that  as  age  suc- 
ceeded age  the  rocky  foundations  of  our  area  were  built  up  beneath  the  sea, 
now  far  from  shore  and  in  clear  quiet  waters  as  when  the  Silurian  limestones 
were  formed,  now  nearer  the  lands,  where  the  streams  carried  down  their  loads 
of  silt  and  clay  to  form  the  beds  of  shale  such  as  the  Maquoketa,  and  occasionally 
the  deposits  tell  of  a  land  nearby  whence  came  santls  and  gravels  to  form  our 
sandstones.  The  seas  of  these  days  swarmed  with  life  and  the  abundant  fossil 
remains  still  give  mute  testimony  to  the  multitude  of  species  which  lived  and 
died  in  those  far-away  times.  Just  here  it  may  be  remarked  that  it  is  unsafe  to 
judge  the  relative  length  of  geologic  periods  by  the  relative  space  given  in  the 
chart,  ^^■hile  this  may  serve  to  some  extent  as  a  guide  there  are  too  man\-  other 
elements  which  enter  to  rely  on  this  alone.  The  rapidity  with  which  deposits 
accumulate  varies  so  greatly  with  different  types  of  material  and  under  diff'erent 
circumstances  and  we  cannot  tell  hmv  much  of  the  original  deposit  may  have 


O 


irsTCM 


SERIES 


FORMATION     NAME 


COLUMNAR 

gECTION 


TM/CANtSS 


CHARACTER  OF  ROCKS 


PLEIiTOCEMt 


Wisconsin 


Peorian 


lowan 


Sangamon 


lUinoian 
Yarmouth 


Kansan 


Aftonian 


Nebraskan 


0-30  + 


0-30  + 


0-100+ 


0-400+ 


0-40  + 


0-30  + 


eowLDER    CLAY,  PALE    YELLOW 
VERY    CALCAREOUS. 


SOI  L    SAIND 


BOWLDER    CLAY.    YELLOW,    WITH 
VERY    LARGE      eoWLDESS. 


SOIL. PEAT    AND   FOREST    BEDS 


BOWLDER    CLAY,  YELLOW. 


bOIL.PEAT    AI^ID    FOREST     BEDS. 


BOWLDER  c LAV.  BLUE.  JOINTED.  W/rH 
iNTEPCALATeo     3rRe*l  h5   ArvD  POCttETS 
OF     hANO      AND     <jRAVtL. 


PEATA^u>ftM  eeOi.SO'L  BJNCJS.AftUfUUSORAVf  L5. 


SOWLDE«   CLAyb.DARn,  FRIABLt. 


FIGURE   II— GEOLOGIC   SECTION   OF   THE   STPvATA  OF  IOWA 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  3 

been  carried  away.  And  so  it  is  equally  difficult  to  form  any  estimate  of  the  length 
of  time  which  has  elapsed  since  the  known  rocks  of  Iowa  began  to  be  formed. 
The  geologic  record  speaks  of  times  when  the  sea  left  Webster  county  and 
retreated  far  away,  perhaps  to  the  south  and  west.  The  soft  sandstones,  shales 
and  limestones  were  then  etched  and  carved  and  carried  away  so  that  in  many 
places  deep  valleys  were  cut  in  them,  while  in  other  localities  scores  and  perhaps 
hundreds  of  feet  of  strata  were  removed  entirely.  Then  again  the  seas  over- 
spread the  lands  and  filled  up  the  valleys  and  covered  the  hills  with  their  1)urden 
of  sand  or  clay  or  limy  ooze. 

During  the  Devonian  period  the  fishes  experienced  a  marvelous  development 
and  became  the  masters  of  the  sea.  Strange  uncouth  fellows  were  these  Devon- 
ian fishes.  Their  modern  descendants  would  probably  disown  them,  unless  it 
were  some  of  the  e(|ually  uncouth  creatures  which  are  occasionally  dredged  from 
the  great  ocean  depths  and  which  probably  represent  survivals  of  these  ancient 
tribes.  The  bony  fishes  did  not  appear  until  after  the  Devonian  and  these  primi- 
tive species  had  cartilaginous  skeletons,  like  the  modern  sharks,  and-  many  of 
them  were  armored  with  a  hard  coat  of  mail. 

While  the  Devonian  and  earlier  strata  are  doubtless  present  beneath  the 
prairies  of  Webster  county  the  oldest  rock  which  is  exposed  within  the  county 
is  the  Saint  Louis  limestone.  After  the  limestone  of  the  Middle  Devonian  series 
had  been  laid  down  in  the  quiet  waters  of  the  Devonian  sea  the  ocean  retreated 
and  for  a  long  time  much  of  Iowa  was  dry  land,  exposed  to  all  the  wearing 
activities  of  rain  and  atmosphere.  Even  while  the  shales  and  limestones  of  the 
Upper  Devonian  were  forming  there  were  probably,  large  land  areas  in  Iowa. 
But  in  time  the  sea  again  transgressed  upon  the  land  and  over  its  floor  were 
laid  the  shales,  sandstones  and  limestones  of  the  Mississippian.  After  a  long 
period  of  slow  piling  up  of  rocky  beds  the  waters  again  abandoned  our  county 
and  again  did  the  streams  and  rains  and  winds  do  their  work.  How  long  these 
periods  of  land  destruction  were  we  can  but  hazard  a  guess.  We  know  how 
slowly  the  elements  wear  away  the  solid  rocks  today,  how  little  change  there  is 
in  the  landscape  from  year  to  year,  even  from  generation  to  generation.  We  have 
no  reason  to  believe  that  the  ])rocesses  and  agencies  of  Nature  were  nnich  differ- 
ent in  those  early  days  than  they  are  today.  Hence,  we  may  feel  sure  that  the 
period  during  which  valleys  scores  and  scores  of  feet  in  depth  were  cut  into  the 
Saint  Louis  limestone  could  not  have  l:)een  a  short  one. 

It  may  be  noted  here  that  from  the  time  of  the  Cambrian  as  shown  on  the 
chart  the  shore-line  across  Iowa  had  been  ])eriodically  retreating  toward  the 
southwest.  In  general  this  shore-line  b.ad  a  northwest-southeast  extension  and 
hence  the  strata  of  different  ages  today  outcrop  at  the  surface  in  long,  rather 
narrow  belts  having  a  similar  direction  and  exposing  successively  younger  rocks 
toward  the  southwest.  The  rocks  of  Iowa  have  never  been  subjected  to  great 
movements  and  twistings  and  warpings  as  have  those  of  the  Rocky  Mountain 
region,  for  instance.  Hence,  such  irregularities  as  appear  in  their  exposure  and 
condition  are  due  chiefly  to  erosion.  As  is  to  be  expected  the  rocks  have  a  slight 
general  dip  toward  the  southwest,  that  is,  away  from  the  <~)ld  shore-line  toward 
the  open  sea.  But  in  western  Iowa  this  dip  is  reversed,  due  largely  to  the  influ- 
ence of  the  old  Sioux  island,  the  mass  of  tjuartzite  centering  al)out  Sioux  Falls. 


4  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Hence  Webster  county  is  about  at  the  center  of  a  great  trough,  although  this  is 
not  evident  at  the  surface.  The  present  topography  is  due  to  factors  which 
affected  the  county  long  after  these  rocks  were  formed,  as  will  be  explained  later. 
After  the  long  period  of  erosion  described  in  the  preceding  paragraph  there 
was  ushered  in  a  different  series  of  events.  Our  knowledge  leads  us  to  believe 
that  all  the  rocks  formed  before  the  close  of  the  Saint  Louis  stage  were  of  marine 
origin.  But  with  the  beginning  of  the  next  stage  in  Webster  county  and  in  Iowa 
conditions  were  changed.  It  seems  probable  that  the  surface  of  the  land,"  in 
central  Iowa  at  least,  had  been  worn  down  to  a  low,  level  plain,  only  slightly  above 
sea  level,  or  else  that  crustal  movements  brought  large  areas  into  this  condition. 
At  any  rate  there  were  vast  stretches  of  coastal  swamps  where  plant  life  grew 
luxuriantly.  These  swamps  may  be  likened  to  the  Great  Dismal  Swamp  of  \'ir- 
ginia  or  the  Everglades  of  Florida.  In  the  former  of  these  especially,  trees, 
ferns,  and  marsh-grasses  grow,  die  and  fall  into  the  shallow  water  which  covers 
much  of  the  surface.  This  water  prevents  decay  and  hence  the  mat  of  vegetal 
remains  grows  from  year  to  year  and  age  to  age.  Just  such  conditions  obtained 
in  the  times  of  which  we  are  speaking — the  Des  Aloines  age,  the  period  when 
the  coal  beds  which  form  such  an  important  part  of  Webster  county's  natural 
wealth  were  formed.  We  may  imagine  that  after  one  of  these  marshes  had  been 
growing  for  some  time  until,  possibly,  many  feet  of  peaty  matter  had  accumu- 
lated, there  was  a  sliglit  change  of  level  and  the  sea  invaded  the  swamp  and  cov- 
ered the  bed  of  peat  with  a  layer  of  silt  or  perhaps  of  sand.  As  soon  as  this  layer 
approached  or  rose  to  the  surface  of  the  water  vegetation  would  again  grow  over 
it  and  there  would  be  a  repetition  of  the  process.  If  long  periods  passed  while 
plants  were  growing  without  clay  or  such  earthy  matter  being  brought  in,  there 
naturally  would  be  formed  a  thick  bed  of  pure  peat.  If  changes  occurred  rapidly 
or  streams  washed  in  silt  and  clay  the  beds  would  be  thin  or  impure.  In  this  way, 
then,  the  coal  beds  of  our  county,  and  of  other  regions  as  well,  were  formed. 
The  size  of  the  old  Carboniferous  swamp  measures  the  extent  of  the  coal  bed  of 
today.  Upon  the  length  of  time  during  which  the  plant  remains  accumulated 
depends  the  thickness  of  these  stores  of  fuel.  Several  seams  of  coal  occur  in 
vertical  succession,  separated  by  layers  of  shale  and  sandstone.  This  is  nicely 
shown  by  a  composite  section  through  the  Lehigh  coal  seams  which  is  given 
below. 

Feet 

Drift    I20 

Shale   20 

Coal,  slate,  six  inches.  Harper  vein o  to     2^4 

Sandstone  and  shale 15 

Coal,  Tyson  seam  4 

Sandstone  and  shale 30 

Coal,  Pretty  seam 2-3 

Shale   30 

Coal,  Big  seam,  four  inches  bone  in  center .  .3^   to     4^ 

Near  Coalville  the  coal  lies  in  three  horizons  the  lowest  of  which  is  a  cannel 
coal.    The  "P)ig  Coal"  of  this  region  seems  to  have  been  laid  down  in  the  deserted 


FIGUPxE  III— MAP  OF  COALVILLE  BASIX 
Coal  Beds  Sbown  in  Black 


THE  NEW  YORK  I 
PUBLIC     LIBRARY 


ASTOP,  fNOX  AND 
Tl    D     N    FO;   NDATIONS. 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  5 

channel  of  an  ancient  river,  as  it  is  confined  to  a  very  narrow  strip  of  which 
the  center  lies  much  lower  and  is  thicker  than  the  marginal  portions.  The  can- 
nel  coal  has  a  somewhat  lower  fuel  value  than  good  bituminous  coal,  because  it 
contains  more  gas  and  less  carbon.  It  is  very  fine-grained  and  may  have  had  a 
slightly  dift'erent  origin  than  the  other  coals. 

Elsewhere  in  Iowa  there  is  a  still  greater  alternation  of  coal  and  shale,  while 
in  some  parts  of  America  the  number  of  seams  is  astonishingly  large.  Thus  in 
the  Xova  Scotia  field  there  are  seventy-six  distinct  seams,  each  one  of  which 
speaks  of  a  repetition  of  the  series  of  events  outlined  above.  These  conditions 
speak  to  us  of  a  period  when  plant  life  flourished  on  the  iXmerican  continent, 
and  elsewhere  also,  in  such  profusion  as  it  had  never  reached  before.  Coal 
swamps  covered  thousands  of  square  miles  between  Xova  Scotia  and  Oklahoma. 
We  need  not  think  of  Des  Moines  time  as  being  a  period  of  tropical  climate,  for 
the  evidence  points  rather  to  a  climate  of  moderate  temperatures,  considerable 
moisture  and  great  uniformity  both  as  regards  seasons  and  areas.  This  is  shown 
bv  the  similarity  of  plant  life  of  the  period  from  Greenland  to  Brazil. 

Although  the  coal  beds  form  only  a  small  part  of  the  strata  of  the  Des  Moines 
stage,  or  Lower  Coal  Measures,  of  \\'ebster  county,  they  are  a  very  important 
part.  The  mining  of  the  coal  from  these  beds  forms  one  of  the  county's  impor- 
tant industries  and  indeed  forms  the  basis  of  much  of  the  industrial  life  of  the 
community.  Owing  to  its  strategic  position  as  the  most  northerly  coal  produc- 
ing area  in  the  state,  mining  was  early  pursued  in  Webster  county.  The  state 
census  of  1862  credits  the  county  with  an  output  of  250  bushels  and  the  federal 
census  of  1870  showed  that  an  output  of  34,400  tons  placed  Webster  as  the 
fourth  producing  county  in  the  state.  The  production  has  risen  as  high  as 
140,000  tons,  which  figure  was  reached  in  1902.  Since  then  there  has  been  a 
decline  due  to  the  working  out  of  the  best  seams.  The  output  for  1910  was 
49,973  tons  valued  at  $111,720.  The  early  settlers  knew  of  the  presence  of  coal 
and  in  1870  Mr.  J.  L.  Piatt,  Hon.  J.  F.  Duncombe  and  others  opened  the  first 
shipping  mine  in  the  county.  This  was  located  on  Holaday  creek,  and  about 
three  miles  from  the  Dubuque  and  Sioux  City,  now  the  Illinois  Central,  railroad, 
with  which  it  was  connected  by  a  tramway.  Other  mines  were  opened  in  the 
next  few  years  and  the  building  of  other  railroads  gave  an  added  impetus  to 
the  industry.  Coalville.  Kalo  and  Lehigh  have  been  important  districts  from 
the  beginning  of  operations  until  the  present. 

Following  the  deposition  of  the  Des  Moines  beds  came  a  time  when  the 
sea  seems  to  have  covered  southwestern  Iowa  more  continuously  and  the  shales 
and  limestones  of  the  iMissouri  stage  or  Upper  Coal  Measures,  were  laid  down. 
There  are  one  or  two  thin  seams  of  coal  accompanying  these  beds,  but  they  are 
not  so  important  as  are  the  coals  of  the  Lower  Coal  Measures.  W^e  do  not 
know  that  the  Missouri  sea  ever  covered  Webster  county  and  so  this  county  in 
common  with  eastern  and  northern  Iowa  was  doubtless  a  land  surface,  and  as 
such  was  subjected  to  all  the  changes  which  the  erosive  forces  of  Nature  could 
produce.  That  these  forces  were  active  is  sliown  by  the  irregularity  of  the  con- 
tact between  the  Des  Moines  and  the  overlying  beds  as  will  be  described  below. 

It  has  been  stated  that  the  shore-lines  of  the  ancient  seas  across  Iowa  were 
gradually  retreating  toward  the  southwest.     The  Des  IMoines  ocean  formed  an 


6  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

exception  to  this  as  it  overspread  the  most  easterly  known  Hmit  of  the  Saint 
Louis  beds  in  Webster  county  and  far  to  the  southeast.  The  Missouri  sea,  how- 
ever, seems  to  have  followed  the  rule,  as  we  know  of  no  beds  of  this  age  east  of 
a  line  drawn,  say,  from  Guthrie  Center  to  Corydon.  But  when  the  sea  again 
invaded  Iowa  it  far  surpassed  the  bounds  of  the  Missouri  stage  and  indeed 
reached  nearly  to  the  present  limits  of  the  Des  ^loines  beds.  This  was  the.  Per- 
mian ocean  and  the  Permian  period  is  of  especial  interest  to  us  because  only  in 
Webster  county  are  its  strata  known — namely  the  gypsum  beds  and  their  asso- 
ciated shales  and  sandstones.  Permian  strata  may,  of  course,  underlie  the 
younger  rocks  of  the  northern  and  western  counties,  but  their  presence  there  has 
not  been  positively  determined.  The  nearest  known  rocks  of  this  age  are  in 
southeastern  Nebraska  and  Kansas. 

Gypsum  beds  like  salt  deposits  indicate  an  arid  climate.  So  we  know  that 
during  Permian  times  the  shallow  ocean  was  very  much  reduced  and  that  lagoons 
and  lakes  were  formed  in  which  the  gypsum  beds  of  Webster  county,  and  of 
Texas  and  Oklahoma,  and  the  salt  and  gypsum  of  Kansas  accumulated.  We 
may  surmise  that  chmatic  conditions  in  \\^ebster  county  were  quite  similar  to 
those  now  existing  in  southwestern  United  States  with  the  addition  of  this  bitter 
lake  from  the  waters  of  which  gypsum  was  being  precipitated.  The  lake 
extended  in  a  northeast-southwest  direction  across  the  county,  centering  at 
Fort  T^odge,  and  in  it  was  formed  a  bed  of  remarkably  pure  gypsum  varying 
from  ten  to  thirty  feet  in  thickness.  Thin  clay  seams  interbedded  with  the  gyp- 
sum may  indicate  incursions  of  the  sea,  letting  in  ocean  waters,  from  which  were 
precipitated  other  layers  of  gypsum.  Then  finally  there  came  a  more  extensive 
inundation,  accompanied  b}'  the  deposition  of  red  shales  and  sandstones,  which 
overlie  the  gypsum  and  are  spread  over  a  greater  area  than  that  covered  by  it. 

This  was  not  the  first  time  that  such  conditions  had  existed  in  Iowa,  for  in 
drilling  the  deep  well  at  Greenwood  Park.  Des  Moines,  thin  layers  of  gypsum 
were  found  in  the  Silurian  rocks  and  during  the  year  191 1  a  bed  varying 
in  thickness  up  to  eighteen  feet  v.as  discovered  in  the  Saint  Louis  limestone 
at  Centerville  in  southeastern  Iowa. 

After  the  Permian  there  was  another  long  time  when  ^^'ebster  county  was 
dry  land.  This  is  represented  in  the  chart  by  the  wavy  line  above  the  beds  of 
the  Fort  Dodge  stage.  So  far  as  now  known  all  of  Iowa  was  dry  land  during 
this  period.  Could  -we  have  seen  our  state  during  those  days  it  would  probably 
have  presented  a  difTerent  aspect  from  that  familiar  to  us  today.  Although 
tremendous  changes  were  in  progress  elsewhere,  as  for  instance  the  forming  of 
the  A])palachian  mountains  in  the  east  and  the  Ouachita  mountains  of  Arkan- 
sas, there  was  but  little  movement  of  the  earth's  surface  in  ovir  own  area — 
simply  an  elevation  sufficient  to  drain  ofif  the  ocean.  It  is  not  likely  that  our 
present  river  systems  had  been  developed  at  that  time  and  so  the  land  was 
drained  by  a  system  of  streams  which  is  now  doubtless  largely,  if  not  entirely 
extinct.  The  j^lant  life  of  the  time  was  similar  to  that  of  the  coal  periods.  Gigan- 
tic ferns,  cone-bearers,  and  other  allied  genera  formed  the  forests.  There  were 
no  flowering  plants  nor  grasses.  These  did  not  appear  in  America  until  long 
afterwards.  The  animals  of  this  time  resembled  in  their  lower  forms  the  older 
types  but  there  was  a  gradual  transition  to  more  modern   forms.     One  of  the 


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l^STOR^'  OF  WEBSTER  CO^NT^'  7 

most  notable  features  of  this  transition  was  the  great  development  of  true  rep- 
tiles. So  notalile  is  this  development  that  the  period  is  known  as  the  Age  of  Rep- 
tiles. The  mammals  and  birds  also  began  their  rise  during  this  time  although 
they  did  not  become  prominent  until  later.  We  have  no  remains  of  the  life  of 
this  period  in  Iowa  as  there  were  no  deposits  formed  in  which  these  remains 
might  be  preserved.  But  that  progress  was  taking  place  here  as  elsewhere 
there  can  be  no  doubt  and  hence  the  events  and  life  forms  mentioned  form  a 
vital  part  of  Webster  county's  history. 

In  course  of  time  there  occurred  one  of  the  greatest  transgressions  of  the 
sea  over  Xorth  America  that  is  known  in  all  geologic  history.  Just  prior  to 
this  incursion  the  Dakota  sandstone  had  been  laid  down  in  a  series  of  extensive 
fresh-water  lakes.  Then  the  Great  Plains  were  submerged  and  western  Iowa 
suffered  the  same  fate.  The  eastern  shore-line  was  somewhere  in  the  region 
of  ^Vebster  county  and  probably  some  of  the  county  formed  part  of  the  ocean 
floor.  On  this  floor — the  floor  of  the  Upper  Cretaceous  sea — were  laid  down 
the  chalky  limestones  and  shales  of  the  Colorado  stage.  Over  the  great  plains 
the  Dakota  sandstone  forms  an  artesian>reservoir,  and  the  chalks  and  shales  of 
^the  Colorado  are  used  in  many  places  for  the  manufacture  of  Portland  cement  and 
clay  wares. 

This  was  the  last  time  that  the  ocean  invaded  Iowa  and  in  all  the  centuries 
upon  centuries  which  have  succeeded  the  Cretaceotis  period  the  state  has  been  a 
part  of  the  constantly  growing  continental  nucleus.  Through  much,  perhaps  the 
greater  part,  of  the  history  which  we  have  outlined,  the  l)uilding-up  processes 
had  been  busy  in  Webster  county.  But-  from  this  time  forward  the  activities 
and  changes  were  to  be  those  which  tend,  toward  the  tearing  down  and  carrying 
away  of  the  piled-up  masses  of  rock.  To  this  a  partial  exception  must  be  made 
of  the  events  of  the  Pleistocene  epoch.  During  this  long  gap  in  the  geological 
record  of  Webster  county  the  climate  was  mild  and  pleasant  and  the  life  forms 
were  approaching  gradually  those  familiar  to  us  today.  But  with  the  beginning 
of  the  Pleistocene  there  was  a  change  in  conditions.  For  reasons  not  yet  fully 
understood  the  climate  of  the  northern  hemisphere  underwent  a;  gradual  change. 
Instead  of  the  long  warm  sinnmers  of  preceding  epochs  there  came  a  time  when 
the  stimmers  were  shorter  and  cooler.  In  Canada  the  snow  accumulated  from 
year  to  year  and  finally  began  to  creep,  as  solid  ice-fields,  over  the  sunny  plains 
of  the  northern  states.  By  and  by  these  ice-fields  overwhelmed  Webster  county 
and  swept  far  to  the  south  as  the  Nebraskan  glacier.  As  this  glacier  marched 
slowly  but  irresistibly  southward  it  gathered  into  itself  the  loose  stones,  clay  and 
sand  and  other  material  which  had  accumulated  from  ages  of  rock  weathering. 
With  these  as  its  tools  it  graved  and  scoured  and  wore  away  the  underlying  rocks. 
It  carried  along  its  miscellaneous  load  in  its  all-enveloping  mass  and  when  at  last 
it  was  melted  away  this  material  was  left  as  a  great  sheet  of  till  or  glacial  drift 
spread  alike  over  hill  and  vale.  The  eft'ect  of  this  sheet  of  till,  added  to  that  o£ 
the  cutting  down  of  the  higher  points  in  the  topography,  would  be  to  produce  a 
level,  even  landscape,  probably  very  similar  to  that  which  characterizes  Webster 
county's  prairies  today.  Upon  this  landscape,  then,  the  streams  began  to  incise 
their  valleys.  The  Des  Moines  river  had  probably  been  at  work  liefore  the  Xe- 
l)raskan  glacier  came  down  and  the  flowing  waters  again  sought  and  cleared  out 


8  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

the  old  channel.  Forests  grew  and  grasses  waved  where  only  fields  of  ice  had 
been  and  Webster  county  emerged  into  the  pleasant  summer-time  of  the  Afton- 
ian  interglacial  age.  The  animal  life  of  the  time  constitutes  one  of  its  most 
remarkable  features.  Elephants,  mastodons  and  sloths  roamed  the  forests  and 
plains.  The  bison,  the  camel  and  the  horse  were  familiar  neighbors,  and  the  deer, 
the  bear  and  the  wolf  were  then  as  now  hereditary  enemies.  It  has  been  only 
within  the  last  two  or  three  years  that  studies  in  western  Iowa  have  proved  the 
presence  in  abundance  of  these  long-departed  wanderers  by  prairie  and  stream. 

After  a  time  there  came  a  recurrence  of  those  climatic  conditions  which  had 
caused  the  first  glaciation  and  once  more  the  ice-sheets  crept  slowly  down  from 
the  northland.  Forest  and  prairie  were  again  hidden  beneath  the  frozen 
mantle  and  life  of  all  kinds  was  wiped  out  or  driven  southward.  This  was  the 
Kansan  glacier  and  today  the  burden  it  bore  forms  the  surface  till  over  south- 
ern and  western  Iowa. 

As  the  years  passed  the  climate  again  moderated,  the  ice  melted  away  and 
Webster  county  again  lay  open  to  the  smiles  of  the  warm  sun.  The  next  glacier 
which  entered  the  Mississippi  valley — the  Illinoian — came  from  the  east  and 
only  its  fringe  crossed  the  Father  of  Waters  into  Iowa,  covering  a  narrow  belt 
between  Clinton  and  Keokuk.  So  during  the  long,  long  centuries  marked  by 
the  passage  of  the  Yarmouth  inter-glacial  interval,  the  Illinoian  glacial  stage  and 
the  Sangamon  interval,  Webster  county  was  experiencing  the  maturing  of  her 
topographic  features  which  always  goes  on  when  Nature  has  a  change  to  set  her 
erosive  forces  in  operation.  During  the  long  cold  winter  of  the  Illinoian.  although 
there  was  no  ice-sheet  in  the  county,  the  heavy  snows  would  cover  the  land  with 
their  white  mantle  and  arctic  conditions  would  prevail.  These  conditions  may 
have  recurred  during  the  lowan  glacial  stage  also,  for  it  is  not  very  probable 
that  the  ice-sheet  of  this  age  extended  so  far  westward.  It  seems  to  have  been 
a  small  lobe  of  ice  covering  only  the  northeast  part  of  the  state,  east  of  Clear 
Lake  and  north  of  Iowa  river.  In  this  case  we  shall  have  to  extend  to  the 
end  of  the  Peorian  interval  the  time  while  Webster  county  was  open  to  the 
influences  of  summer  sun  and  winter  snows. 

We  have  but  scant  means  of  judging  the  length  of  these  glacial  and  inter- 
glacial ages.  We  know  from  present-day  studies  how  slowly  the  glaciers  of  the 
world  move  and  how  slightly  they  change  from  century  to  century.  So  we  may 
know  that  centuries  and  milleniums  unnumbered  have  rolled  by  since  first  the 
great  continental  ice-sheet  swept  down  from  its  northern  home.  It  has  been 
estimated  from  studies  of  the  dififerent  drift  sheets  of  the  Mississippi  valley  that 
if  the  time  since  the  retreat  of  the  last  ice-sheet  be  considered  as  unity  the  length 
of  time  since  the  close  of  the  Kansan  invasion  must  be  reckoned  as  fifteen  to 
seventeen.  To  this  must  be  added  again  the  length  of  Kansan  time  itself  as 
well  as  that  of  the  Aftonian  interglacial  age  and  of  the  Nebraskan  invasion.  We 
know  so  little  of  this  latter  that  we  are  not  yet  in  a  position  to  place  any  estimate 
upon  its  duration  or  antiquity. 

The  streams  and  rains  and  winds  had  worked  for  countless  years  upon  the 
rocks  and  soils  of  Webster  county  when  again  the  climate  changed  and  another 
period  of  intense  cold  ensued.  The  drift  sheets  of  former  invasions  seem  to 
have  been  very  largely   worn  away   during  this   interval   and   deep   valleys   had 


FIGURE  V— OUTCROPPIXG  LEDGES  OF  GYPSUM 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  9 

been  cut  in  the  sandstones  and  shales  and  gypsum  beds  so  that  wherever  the  loose 
mantle  rock  is  removed  the  surface  of  these  underlying  rocks  is  rough  and  irregu- 
lar. When  the  Wisconsin  glacier  came  into  our  county  it  plowed  over  the  rem- 
nants of  old  till,  gathered  up  such  rock  fragments  as  it  found  loose  on  the 
surface  or  could  pluck  from  their  parent  ledges  and  mixed  and  ground  all  this 
load  in  its  mighty  mills  and  finally  left  it  spread  out  as  the  rich  productive  soils 
which  make  Webster  county's  farms  a  veritable  treasure-house.  All  the  ele- 
ments of  soil  fertility  and  plant  food  are  found  in  these  glacial  clays  and, 
enriched  by  generations  of  vegetable  growths,  they  are  unexcelled  among  the 
soils  of  the  state.  It  is  a  common  saying,  though  none  the  less  a  true  one,  that 
our  soils  are  the  basis  of  our  wealth  and  our  social  welfare.  Upon  this  founda- 
tion we  may  rear  the  superstructure  of  great  manufactures  and  extensive  com- 
merce ;  but  where  the  foundation  is  poor  or  lacking  the  superstructure  is  impos- 
sible. It  should  require  but  little  urging  to  show  the  intelligent  farmer  how 
carefully  he  should  guard  his  priceless  heritage,  with  what  appreciation  he 
should  receive  Nature's  bountiful  gifts. 

Since  the  departure  of  the  Wisconsin  ice  there  have  been  no  other  advances 
of  continental  glaciers.  The  ice-fields  of  Canada  have  dwindled  and  gone ;  only 
in  Greenland  is  there  any  accumulation  of  ice  in  the  northern  hemisphere 
that  is  at  all  comparable  to  the  glaciers  of  the  Pleistocene.  Whether  we  are 
living  today  in  true  post-glacial  times  or  merely  in  an  interglacial  interval  only 
the  future  can  reveal.  It  seems  incredible  to  us  that  the  monuments  of  our 
civilization  should  ever  be  destroyed  by  the  relentless  push  and  grind  of  a  con- 
tinental glacier,  but  we  cannot  well  measure  the  mighty  sweep  of  world-building 
by  our  tiny  span  of  human  achievement. 

In  addition  to  the  coal  mining  industry  there  are  two  others  in  Webster 
county  which  are  dependent  upon  the  mineral  resources  of  the  county.  These  are 
the  gypsum  plaster  and  the  clay-ware  industries.  In  the  first  of  these,  as  already 
indicated,  this  county  is  unique  among  the  counties  of  Iowa.  It  has  developed 
since  the  building  of  the  first  mill  in  1872  until  at  the  present  time  it  places  Iowa 
among  the  leaders  in  this  industry.  In  1910  there  were  mined  322,713  tons  of 
crude  gypsum  and  the  various  products  made  from  this  were  valued  at  $943,849. 
The  history  and  development  of  this  industry  will  be  traced  elsewhere  and  need 
not  be  recounted  here. 

The  great  clay-shale  deposits  of  the  Coal  Measures  furnish  the  basis  of 
another  industry  in  which  Webster  takes  high  rank  among  the  counties  of  the 
state.  Drain  tile,  hollow  building  block,  common  and  pressed  brick,  all  of  excel- 
lent quality,  are  made  from  these  shales.  The  necessity  for  artificial  drainage 
over  much  of  the  county  has  given  an  impetus  to  the  manufacture  of  drain  tile 
which  makes  it  the  most  important  branch  of  a  large  and  growing  industry. 
This  is  shown  by  the  fact  that  during  1910  to  the  valuation  of  $976,266  placed 
upon  the  clay  wares  produced  in  the  county,  the  drain  tile  makers  contributed 
a  quota  of  $668,445.  ^Vith  the  development  of  scientific  agriculture,  and  of 
scientific  building  it  may  be  added,  when  greater  care  shall  be  taken  in  building 
homes  and  industrial  structures  of  fireproof  materials,  there  is  certain  to  be  a 
still  larger  growth  of  Webster  county's  clay  industry. 


10  HISTORY  OF  A\'EBSTER  COLXTY 

TOPOGRAPHV 

It  doubtless  has  been  made  clear  in  the  preceding  paragraphs  that  the  topog- 
raphy of  a  region  is  dependent  upon  its  geological  structure  in  combination  with 
the  history  of  the  forces  which  have  been  acting  upon  it.  In  a  district  which 
is  so  heavily  blanketed  with  glacial  debris  as  is  Webster  county  the  structure 
of  the  underlying  bedded  rocks  is  entirely  masked  except  where  these  are  exposed 
by  stream  erosion.  Tiien  too.  the  time  which  has  passed  since  the  Wisconsin 
ice  spread  out  its  sheet  of  till  has  been  so  short  that,  if  we  except  the  immediate 
valleys  of  Des  'Moines  river  and  its  tributaries,  the  erosive  agencies  have  scarcely 
begun  to  be  effective  in  carving  relief  forms  in  the  level  Wisconsin  plains.  And 
so  the  result  is  that  Webster  county  has  what  may  l)e  called  a  glacial  topography 
as  contrasted  with  an  erosional  topography,  that  is.  one  produced  by  the  action 
of  running  water,  frost  and  heat.  There  are  two  types  of  glacial  topography, 
the  flat  even  plain,  and  the  irregular  jumbled  hills  which  rise  from  the  surround- 
ing plain  but  usually  bear  no  close  relation  to  the  natural  drainage  lines.  Both 
of  these  types  are  represented  in  Webster  county,  although  the  plains  type  is 
by  far  the  more  important.  As  the  glacier  melted  away  the  natural  tendency 
was  for  the  load  it  carried  to  be  spread  out  quite  evenly,  but  at  the  edge  of  the 
ice,  where  the  forward  movement  was  balanced  by  melting,  the  clay,  stones, 
gravel  and  such  material  carried  or  pushed  along  would  be  dumped  in  great 
mounds.  So  here  and  there  over  the  glaciated  region  we  find  these  mounds  and 
ridges,  here  arranged  in  long  series,  there  without  any  arrangement  whatever. 
Such  ridges  are  quite  common  in  the  northwest  part  of  the  county,  most  of  them 
west  of  the  Des  Moines  and  north  of  South  Lizard  creek,  although  some  are 
found  elsewhere,  and  one.  Coon  ]^Iound.  east  of  Cowrie,  is  miles  from  any  simi- 
lar hills.  Some  of  these  piled-up  hills  are  built  largely  of  sand  and  gravel  since 
the  finer  cla)'  was  washed  away  by  water  from  the  melting  ice.  These  form 
today  almost  exhaustless  supplies  for  all  the  purposes  for  which  such  materials 
are  used. 

The  traveler  along  the  ]^Iinneapolis  and  Saint  Louis  railroad  from  Tara 
southward  ma}-  gain  an  excellent  idea  of  the  typical  ^^'isconsin  plain  topography. 
While  Lizard  creek  has  a  fairly  deep  valley  the  landscape  for  the  most  part  is  so 
level  that  one  village  may  be  seen  from  the  next,  and  from  ^Moorland  and  Cal- 
lender  the  great  gypsum  mills  east  of  Fort  Dodge  are  plainly  visible.  Railroads 
are  a  good  index  of  topography  and  the  long  straight  line  of  the  ^linneapolis 
and  Saint  Louis,  with  scarcely  a  curve  between  Tara  and  Cowrie,  bespeaks  a 
surface  that  is  flat  almost  to  monotony.  Except  where  they  follow  drainage  lines 
for  convenience  of  access  or  to  avoid  heavy  grades  in  crossing  the  deep  valleys,  the 
other  railroads  of  the  county  reveal  the  same  conditions.  Web.ster  county's 
topography  is  immature,  it  is  in  its  youth  and  except  for  the  rich  harvests  and 
prosperous  homes  one  might  almost  believe  that  the  great  ice-cap  had  but  yester- 
day vanished  and  left  behind  its  rich  legacy  of  fertile  soils. 

But  across  this  broad  expanse  there  is  incised  the  deep  gash  of  the  Des  ]^Ioines 
valley.  It  is  a  marvel  that  such  rugged  blufifs  and  steep  canyon-like  walls  shoukl 
be  found  in  the  midst  of  such  level  plains  and  indeed  apparently  cut  right  into 
them.  Oftentimes  as  one  climbs  up  to  the  brink  of  the  valley  the  illimitable 
expanse  of  the  prairies   stretches   away   from   his   very   feet,  and   indeed   these 


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fr 


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FIGURE  VI— STRUCTURE  OF  THE  GYPSUM 


THE  NEW  YORK  \ 
PUBLIC     LIBRARY 


ASTOR,   LENOX   AND 

tilD   n  foundations 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  11 

prairies  nia}-  be  drained  azcay  from  the  river.  \\'hile  as  before  indicated,  the 
Des  Moines  valley  may  be  pre-Pleistocene  in  age.  it  has  been  filled  by  each  of 
the  glaciers  which  have  covered  the  region  and  the  river  has  been  obliged  each 
time  to  re-excavate  its  channel.  This  gives  rise  to  picturesque  and  beautiful 
scenery,  both  along  the  main  stream  and  along  the  lower  valleys  of  its  tributaries. 
The  Lizard  forks.  Two  Mile  creek,  and  numerous  others,  large  and  small,  are 
examples.  \\'here  the  covering  of  drift  material  has  been  cut  through  and  the 
solid  rocks  are  exposed  the  beauty  and  charm  of  the  scenery  are  increased.  Mural 
escarpments,  miniature  gorges  and  canyons,  such  as  Wild  Cat's  Cave,  give  a 
delightful  variety  in  a  land  of  level  prairies  and  monotonous  landscapes.  But 
the  character  of  these  creeks,  and  indeed  all  these  features  of  rugged  beauty,  are 
indicative  of  the  youth  and  immaturity  of  the  topography  and  the  drainage.  Fol- 
lowed back  a  few*  miles  even  Lizard  creek  vallev  assumes  the  broad  shallow  sag- 
like  features  of  the  typical  young  prairie  stream.  In  the  ages  to  come  the  creeks 
will  cut  more  definite  valleys  in  their  upper  courses,  the  lower  reaches  of  the 
valleys  wall  widen  out  and  the  steep  walls  will  be  gradually  worn  down  until  they 
become  low  and  gentle.  The  scenes  which  are  today  so  pleasing  will  have  dis- 
appeared and  the  peaceful  quiet  of  the  smooth,  flowing  contours  of  maturity 
and  old  age  will  rest  upon  the  entire  landscape. 

The  difference  between  the  drainage  of  a  region  of  youthful  topography  and 
that  of  one  which  has  reached  the  mature  stage  is  well  shown  in  the  accompany- 
ing sketches.  Ringgold  county  lies  in  the  area  which  has  not  been  glaciated 
since  the  Kansas  invasion  and  its  streams  have  been  long  at  work  cutting  back 
and  lengthening  their  valleys.  Moreover,  a  feature  which  could  not  be  repre- 
sented on  these  maps  is  the  abundance  of  short  lateral  ravines  and  gullies  which 
cut  up  nearly  every  section  of  land  in  Ringgold  county,  while  in  Webster  there 
are  miles  and  miles  without  any  drainage  whatever,  save  that  initiated  by  the 
farmer  himself. 

The  geological  history  of  \\'ebster  county  has  been  long  and  varied. 
Uncounted  centuries  have  passed  away  while  that  history  has  been  in  the  writing 
and  today  the  book  is  not  yet  closed.  It  lies  open  before  us  and  w^e  read  therein 
the  stories  of  the  mighty  forces  of  the  past  and  see  the  tireless  servants  of  Nature 
as  with  unobtrusive,  persistent  hands  they  inscribe  their  record  upon  its  out- 
spread pages.  If  these  pages  bear  any  message  it  is  surely  that  of  a  marvelous 
past  and  of  hope  and  promise  for  the  days  still  to  come. 


Vol    1—2 


CHAPTER  II 
ON  THE  WAY  TO  IOWA 

LAENAS    GIFFORD    WELD 

American  history  is  today  being  largely  written,  and  is  being  writ  large,  here 
in  the  Mississippi  valley.  We  may  say  indeed,  not  boastfully  but  in  truth,  that 
world  history  is  making  here — not  the  history  of  battles  and  of  dynasties,  but  of 
industry  and  public  policy  and  finance  and  education — of  all  that  makes,  for  the 
uplift,  the  generation  and  the  regeneration  of  the  world's  people. 

The  territory  included  in  the  Mississippi  valley  is,  from  the  standpoint  of 
physical  geography,  the  most  remarkable  on  the  face  of  the  earth.  Stretching 
from  the  Alleghanies  on  the  east  fifteen  hundred  miles  to  the  foothills  of  the 
Rocky  mountains  on  the  west  and  from  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  four  thousand  miles 
northward  to  the  Arctic  ocean,  it  presents  a  vast  plain,  unbroken  by  high  moun- 
tain ranges,  unmarred  by  desert  wastes,  but  diversified  in  its  climate  and  its  prod- 
ucts, fertile  beyond  comparison,  abounding  mineral  wealth,  watered  by  count- 
less streams,  and  comprising  the  most  magnificent  system  of  fresh  water  seas 
in  the  world.  Toward  this  region  the  tide  of  world  empire  has  been  setting 
for  three  quarters  of  a  century  and  is  not  even  yet  at  its  height.  The  financier 
may  turn  his  eyes  toward  Wall  street  or  Threadneedle  street,  the  student  may 
plan  his  pilgrimage  to  Cambridge  or  Leipzig,  the  artist  may  long  for  the  inspira- 
tion afl:'orded  by  the  Louvre  or  the  galleries  of  Florence,  but  the  teeming  millions 
of  the  over-crowded  places  of  the  world,  with  hands  restless  to  do  and  hearts 
ready  to  dare,  turn  eager  faces  toward  this  great  central  basin  of  North  America. 
In  the  center  of  this  vast  tract,  midway  between  the  mountain  barriers  to  the 
east  and  to  the  west,  midway  between  the  tropic  sea  to  the  south  and  the  frozen 
sea  to  the  north,  stands  Iowa.  And  the  way  thither — will  it  interest  you  for  a 
few  moments? 

Ever  since  our  school  days,  Columbus  and  De  Soto  have  been  names  to  con- 
jure with.  The  one  found  the  way  to  the  new  world,  the  other  made  known 
something  of  its  vast  extent.  But  the  significance  of  De  Soto's  discovery  of  the 
Mississippi  in  1541  was  quite  unheeded  and  his  expedition  was  remembered  only 
on  account  of  its  disastrous  ending.  So  far  as  authentic  records  indicate,  a 
century  and  a  quarter  passed  by  before  any  white  man  again  looked  upon  the 
"father  of  waters."  Meantime  our  Atlantic  seaboard  was  dotted  with  Enghsh, 
French,  and  Dutch  settlements — Catholic  or  Huguenot,  Puritans  or  Cavalier. 
Meantime  too,  the  armed  merchantmen  of  Europe  "poked  their  noses,"  as  it 
were,  into  every  bay  and  up  every  navigable  stream  opening  to  the  Atlantic,  from 

13 


U  HISTORY  OF  \\J-:i;STER  COL'XTY 

Tierra  del  Fuego  to  Greenland,  in  search  of  a  passage  through  to  the  Pacific, 
which  should  shorten  the  route  to  southeastern  Asia — to  ''Far  Cathay."  But 
for  ten  thousand  miles  the  American  continent  presented  an  impassable  barrier. 
To  penetrate  this  barrier  was.  indeed,  the  great  geographical  problem  of  the  two 
centuries  following  the  landfall  of  Columbus.  Hudson  ascended  the  river  which 
bears  his  name  in  the  hope  of  finding  an  easy  portage  to  some  tributary  of  the 
Pacific.  The  same  quest  lured  Captain  John  Smith  up  the  James  river  and 
Cartier  up  the  St.  Lawrence. 

The  crude  astrolabes  used  by  the  early  navigators  enabled  them  to  determine 
latitudes  with  reasonable  accuracy,  but  the  determination  of  longitude  at  sea 
requires  some  form  of  chronometer,  and  timepieces  had  not  yet  been  brought  to 
any  degree  of  perfection.  And  so,  even  after  Sir  Francis  Drake  had  sailed  far 
up  the  Pacific  coast  of  North  America,  there  was  no  adequate  conception  of  the 
breadth  of  the  continent.  Hence  it  was  but  natural  that,  hearmg  from  the 
Indians  of  a  "great  water"  to  which  the  streams  over  the  western  slopes  of  the 
Alleghanies  made  their  way,  the  colonists  on  the  Atlantic  seaboard  should  identify 
this  "great  water"  with  the  Pacific  or  South  Sea  and  imagine  that  upon  reaching 
it  the  way  to  Cathay  would  be  much  easier  than  by  way  of  the  Straits  of  ^lagel- 
lan  or  round  the  Cape  of  Good  Hope.  The  "great  water"  to  the  west  was,  of 
course,  the  Mississippi,  but  all  this  was  for  many  years  understood  but  vaguely, 
if  at  all.  The  real  extent  of  the  hinterland  of  the  American  colonies  was  but 
dimly  comprehended  and  not  at  all  appreciated  until  long  after  these  colonies  had 
achieved  their  national  independence.  But  a  far  dift'erent  situation  prevailed 
among  the  French  colonies  to  the  north  as  we  shall  presently  see. 

Singularly  enough  the  history  of  the  Mississippi  valley  began  with  Jacques 
Cartier's  voyage  up  the  St.  Lawrence.  Fishing  fleets  were  now  frequenting  the 
waters  about  Newfoundland,  occasionally  ascending  the  river  for  the  winter 
and  carrying  on  a  profitable  fur  trade  with  the  Indians.  It  soon  became  evident 
that  this  trade  was  well  worth  developing.  The  supply  seemed  inexhaustible  and 
furs  soon  came  to  be  sought  by  the  French  in  the  north  as  eagerly  if  not  as 
rapaciously  as  was  gold  by  the  Spaniards  in  the  south.  Champlain  came  up  the 
river,  bringing  colonists  who  founded  Quebec,  in  the  same  year  that  the  English 
founded  Jamestown.  Whence  came  this  supply  of  furs?  And  whence  came  this 
great  river,  mightier  tenfold  than  any  of  the  rivers  of  Europe?  The  first  of 
these  problems  appealed  to  Champlain's  superiors,  the  latter  to  Champlain  him- 
self. He  took  but  little  interest  in  his  colony  except  as  it  served  him  as  a  base 
for  his  explorations.  He  heard  of  a  great  sea  to  the  west  and  would  reach  it 
and  find  thereby  the  way  to  Far  Cathay.  The  St.  Lawrence  itself  was  blocked 
by  the  Iroquois  Indians  of  northern  New  York,  whose  hostility  to  the  French, 
and  particularly  to  Champlain,  was  fierce  and  unrelenting.  So  he  pushed  his 
canoes  up  the  Ottawa  until  its  waters  enmeshed  with  those  of  a  lake  called  Nipis- 
sing.  From  this  lake  he  followed  a  river,  now  known  as  French  river,  down  to 
the  Georgian  Bay  of  Lake  Huron.  The  Great  Lakes  lay  before  him,  but  it  was 
not  his  to  explore  them.  Indeed  he  had  been  preceded  thus  far  by  Franciscan 
missionaries  who  were  already  established  among  the  Huron  Indians  at  the  head 
of  this  same  bay. 

Then  followed  two  decades  of  confusion  and  reorganization  of  the  French 


FIGURE    VII— MORAINIC    KNOBS    IN    WISCONSIN    DRIFT,    NORTHERN 

WEBSTER  COUNTY 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  15 

colonies.  The  great  Richelieu  next  assumed  their  management  and,  though 
Champlain  was  reappointed  governor,  commerce  and  trade  were  monopolized  by 
a  company  known  as  the  Hundred  Associates ;  while  the  Jesuits  were  virtually  in 
charge  of  all  other  interests,  temporal  as  well  as  spiritual.  The  Franciscan  mis- 
sionaries were  peremptorily  excluded  from  the  country — their  work,  represent- 
ing a  quarter  of  a  century  of  intense  devotion,  being  ignored  and  even  discredited. 
Forthwith  began  the  publication  of  that  remarkable  and  invaluable  series  of 
documents  known  as  the  Jesuit  Relations.  In  these  we  find  recorded  from 
vear  to  year  in  the  language  of  the  devoted  fathers  themselves,  the  principal 
events  and  items  of  interest  in  connection  with  the  various  missions  esablished, 
not  only  in  the  \icinity  of  the  settlements  along  the  St.  Lawrence,  but  in  the 
far  Northwest  on  the  remotest  borders  of  the  Great  Lakes  as  well. 

Champlain  seems  merely  to  have  been  in  charge  of  the  garrisons  stationed 
at  Quebec  and  Three  Rivers,  but  was  at  the  same  time  free  to  promote  further 
explorations.  This  he  did,  though  now  too  old  to  again  set  out  upon  the  wilder- 
ness trail  himself.  He  dispatched  Jean  Nicollet  on  a  voyage  Avestward  through 
the  waters  of  Lake  Huron  to  obtain  more  definite  information  regarding  those 
countries  which,  through  current  rumors,  were  identified  as  the  Asiatic  Orient. 

It  is  recorded  that  Nicollet  took  with  him  upon  this  journey,  carefully  sewed 
up  in  an  oilskin  bag.  a  handsomely  embroidered  mandarin's  cape  or  cloak,  in 
order  that,  when  he  should  appear  at  the  Ghinese  colirt.  he  might  be  respectably 
attired.  The  enterprise  was  one  for  which  Nicollet  was  w-ell  prepared.  For 
fifteen  years  he  had  lived  among  various  Algonquin  tribes,  acquiring  their  lan- 
guages and  inuring  himself  to  the  hardships  of  the  wilderness. 

The  Jesuits  had  arranged  to  reestablish  the  mission  to  the  Huron  Indians  at 
the  head  of  Georgian  bay,  from  which  the  Franciscans  had  been  so  summarily 
recalled.  Each  year  the  canoe  fleet  of  the  Hurons  came  down  the  Ottawa  laden 
with  furs  for  trade  with  the  French  on  the  St.  Lawrence.  In  July  of  1634  it 
was  that  the  missionaries  Brebeuf  Daniel,  and  Davost  embarked  with  this  annual 
canoe  fleet  on  its  return  journey  to  the  Huron  country.  Nicollet  w-as  one  of 
this  motley  company,  but  the  situation  was  far  less  novel  to  him  than  to  his  fel- 
low countrymen  of  the  black  robes.  The  journey  up  the  Ottawa  was  both  diffi- 
cult and  dangerous.  This  was  "on  the  way  to  Iowa,"  so  let  me  quote  to  you  what 
the  Jesuit  Relations  say  of  it. 

"Of  the  ordinary  difficulties/'  writes  Brebeuf  in  his  report  (J.  R.  1635),  "the 
chief  is  that  of  the  rapids  and  portages.  Your  reverence"'  (addressing  Le  Jeune, 
the  superior  at  Quebec)  "has  already  seen  enough  of  the  rapids  at  Kebec  to 
know  what  they  are.  All  the  rivers  of  this  country  are  full  of  them  notably 
(this  river.  It  runs  not  over)  "a  smooth  bed.  but  is  continually  broken  up,  roll- 
ing and  leaping  in  a  frightful  way,  like  an  impetuous  torrent ;  and  even,  in  some 
places,  it  falls  down  suddenly  from  a  height  of  several  fathoms.  *  *  *  Now 
when  these  rapids  or  torrents  are  reached  it  is  necessary  to  land  and  carry  on 
the  shoulders  through  woods  and  over  high  and  jagged  rocks  all  the  baggage  and 
the  canoes  themselves."  This  narrative,  continued  in  Brebeuf 's  own  words  for 
the  most  part  literally  translated,  aft'ords  a  fair  sample  of  the  style  and  spirit  of 
the  Jesuit  Relations.  'Tn  some  places  where  the  current  is  "  *  *  strong 
*     *     *     the  savages  get  into  the  water  and  haul   and  guide     *     *     *     their 


15  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COL'XTY 

canoes  with  great  difficulty  and  danger;  for  they  sometimes  get  in  up  to  the  neck 
and  are  compelled  to  let  go  *  *  *  saving  themselves  as  best  they  can  from 
the  rapidity  of  the  water  which  snatches  the  canoe  from  them  and  bears  it  away. 
This  happened  to  one  of  our  Frenchmen  who  remained  alone  in  the  canoe,  all  the 
savages  having  left  it  to  the  mercy  of  the  torrent.  (He  was  in  a  sorry  plight,  but 
at  last  his  life  was  saved)  and  the  canoe  also  with  all  that  was  in  it."  Xo  w^ond**'- 
that  Nicollet  had  sewn  up  his  mandarin's  cloak  in  an  oilskin  bag! 

"I  kept  count  of  the  number  of  portages,"  continues  Brebeuf,  "and  found  that 
we  carried  our  canoes  thirty-five  times  and  dragged  them  at  least  fifty.  '■'  *  * 
Another  difficulty  is  in  regard  to  provisions.  Frequently  one  has  to  fast,  if  he 
misses  the  catches  that  were  made  (by  the  savages  when  on  their  way  down),  and 
even  if  the}-  are  found  one  still  has  a  good  appetite  even  after  indulging  in  them ; 
for  the  ordinary  food  is  only  a  little  Indian  corn  coarsely  broken  between  stones 
and  sometimes  taken  whole  in  pure  w^ater.  It  is  no  great  treat.  *  *  *  \c],! 
to  these  difficulties  that  one  must  sleep  on  the  bare  earth,  or  even  on  the  hard 
rock,  *  *  *  and  must  walk  in  the  water  or  mud  and  in  the  frightful  entan- 
glement of  the  forest,  where  the  stings  of  an  infinite  number  of  mosquitoes  and 
gnats  are  a  (continual  torment)  *  *  *  But  *  *  *  we  all  had  to  begin 
by  these  experiences  to  bear  the  cross  that  our  Lord  presents  to  us  for  his  honor 
and  for  the  salvation  of  these  poor  barbarians.  In  truth  I  was  sometimes  so  weary 
that  the  body  could  do  no  more,  but  at  the  same  time  my  soul  experienced  very 
deep  peace,  considering  that  I  w'as  sufifering  for  God.  No  one  knows  it  if  lie  ha- 
not  experienced  it." 

It  was  under  such  difficulties  as  these  that  Nicollet's  journey  was  begun ;  but 
Brebeuf  speaks  admiringly  of  him  as  being  "equal  to  all  the  hardships  endured 
by  the  most  robust  savages."  But  their  tiresome  ascent  of  the  Ottawa  was  finally 
accomplished  and  the  canoes  glided  out  tipon  the  waters  of  Lake  Nipissing  then 
down  French  river  to  Georgian  bay  and  on  to  its  head,  wdiere  the  Jesuits  imme- 
diately established  themselves  in  the  place  formerly  occupied  by  the  Franciscans. 
They  w^ere  soon  joined  by  Nicollet,  who  had  tarried  for  a  time  with  the  Indians 
on  an  island  in  the  Ottaw^a  (Isle  des  Allumetts).  After  procuring  a  suitable  outfit 
and  engaging  seven  Hurons  to  act  as  guides,  Nicollet  bade  adieu  to  Father  Brebeuf 
and  his  associates  and  set  out  on  his  voyage  westward.  His  commission  required 
him  to  explore  such  countries  as  he  might  be  able  to  reach  and  to  make  commer- 
cial treaties  with  the  people  dwelling  therein.  The  party  coasted  along  the  eastern 
and  northern  shores  of  Lake  Huron,  passing  through  the  dangerous  channel  to 
the  north  of  the  Manitoulins,  until  they  found  themselves  tossing  about  in  the 
eddies  below  the  Sault  Ste.  Marie  in  water  through  which  now  floats  a  commerce 
whose  tonnage  is  three  times  that  which  passes  Port  Said  and  Suez. 

But  for  Nicollet  the  scene  seems  to  have  had  no  special  interest.  He  must 
have  heard  from  the  Indians  of  Lake  Superior,  but  makes  no  mention  of  having 
visited  it.  The  water  coursing  past  his  camp  at  the  foot  of  the  rapids  was  fresh 
and  gave  no  promise  that  the  "salt  sea"  of  which  he  was  in  search  lay  beyond.  Thus 
did  he  miss  discovering  the  greatest  of  all  the  Great  Lakes.  Dropping  down  St. 
Mary's  strait,  he  rounded  the  upper  peninsula  of  Michigan  and  passed  on  through 
the  Straits  of  Mackinac.  The  "second  lake  of  the  Hurons,"  as  Lake  Michigan 
was  for  a  time  called,  lay  before jiim.    Boldly  following  the  northern  shore  of  this 


FIGURE     VIII— MAP     OF     EINGGOLD     COUNTY 
SHOWING  MATURITY  OF  DRAINAGE 


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FIGURE  IX— MAP  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY,  SHOW- 
ING IMMATURITY  OF  DRAINAGE 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUXTY  17 

new-found  sea  Nicollet  entered  Green  bay,  land-locked  by  the  present  state  of  Wis- 
consin. He  pushed  on  to  its  head,  where  he  for  the  first  time  encountered  tribes 
of  Indians  with  whom  he  could  not  converse.  He  believed  himself  upon  the  out- 
skirts of  the  vast  Chinese  empire.  Being  invited  to  a  council  with  the  chiefs,  he 
donned  his  mandarin's  cloak  and  approached,  discharging  his  pistols  into  the  air. 
The  impression  was  all  that  could  be  desired,  but  he  soon  discovered  that  he  had 
not  yet  reached  China,  nor  even  its  outskirts.  He  was  well  received,  however,  and' 
passed  on  up  the  Fox  river. 

After  traversing  Lake  W'innebago,  he  found  himself  once  more  among  Indians, 
of  the  Algonquin  stock,  whose  language  was  quite  intelligible.  From  them  he 
heard  of  a  ''great  water"  which  could  be  reached  in  three  days  by  a  short  port- 
age from  the  Upper  Fox  river.  The  portage  referred  to  was,  of  course,  that 
into  the  Wisconsin  river  at  what  is  now  Portage  City.  Had  he  taken  this  "three 
day's  journey,"  he  would  have  debouched,  not  upon  a  new  sea  as  he  supposed, 
but  upon  the  upper  course  of  the  Mississippi  at  Prairie  du  Chien,  opposite  AIc- 
Grcgor.  in  Clayton  county,  Iowa.  The  "way  to  Iowa"  had  been  pointed  out, 
but  was  not  to  be  followed  up  until  forty  years  later.  Why  Nicollet  missed  this 
opportunity,  as  he  had  already  missed  that  at  Lake  Superior,  is  not  in  the  least 
clear.  What  he  did  do  was  to  travel  overland  to  the  south  to  visit  and  estab- 
lish friendly  relations  with  the  great  nation  of  Illinois  Indians,  obtaining  at  the 
same  time  some  general  notion  of  the  extent  of  Lake  ]Michigan.  He  was  at 
Three  Rivers  (on  the  St.  Lawrence),  again  in  July,  1635.  How  the  "great 
water''  of  which  he  had  heard  was  regarded  by  his  contemporaries,  is  evident 
from  this  passage  quoted  from  the  Jesuit  Relation  of  Vimont  for  the  year  1640. 
"Sieur  Nicollet,  who  has  advanced  farthest  into  these  distant  countries  has 
assured  me  that  had  he  gone  three  days'  journey  farther  from  a  river  which 
issues  from  this  lake''  (the  second  lake  of  the  Hurons,  or  Lake  Michigan), 
"he  would  have  found  the  sea.  Now  I  have  strong  suspicions"  (that  through 
this  sea  there  would  be  a  passage  toward  Japan  and  China.) 

But  the  discoveries  of.  Nicollet  were  not  soon  to  be  followed  up.  Scarcely 
had  he  returned  when  Champlain  died.  Then  came  a  succession  of  incompe- 
tent governors.  The  Iroquois  took  advantage  of  the  situation  and  devastated 
the  country,  utterly  destroying  the  Huron  nation  (1649).  Such  of  the  Jesuit 
missionaries  as  had  escaped  death  were  hastily  recalled.  The  fugitive  Hurons 
and  Ottawas  betook  themselves  to  the  remotest  shores  of  the  Great  Lakes,  or 
sought  refuge  at  Quebec,  while  others  became  amalgamated  with  the  Iroquois 
themselves.  Even  the  fortified  settlements  on  the  St.  Lawrence  were  in  danger. 
Trade  was,  of  course,  completely  demoralized.  Many  of  the  wood-rangers 
(Coureurs  de  bois).  cut  off  from  the  settlements,  found  their  only  safety  in 
plunging  deeper  into  the  great  interior  wilderness. 

As  soon  as  some  degree  of  order  had  been  restored  explorations  were  pushed 
farther  than  ever  to  the  northw^est  for  the  purpose  of  reestablishing  the  fur 
trade,  which  had  almost  entirely  fallen  away  with  the  destruction  of  the  Huron 
and  Ottawa  nations.  In  1660  Radisson  and  his  brother-in-law,  Grosseilliers, 
launched  their  canoes  upon  Lake  Superior  and  followed  the  south  shore  to  the 
end  of  the  lake.  Here  they  located  the  remnants  of  the  Hurons  and  Ottawa 
tribes,  secure  in  these  distant  regions  from  the  fury  of  the  Iroquois.    It  is  claimed 


18  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

that  the  brothers  in  their  overland  explorations,  came  upon  the  Mississippi;  but, 
while  it  may  be  reasonably  inferred,  this  is  not  definitely  confirmed  by  Radisson's 
journal. 

However,  one  thing  in  this  journal  is  of  special  interest  to  us  as  lowans. 
At  the  close  of  the  narrative  of  his  explorations,  Radisson  gives  a  list  of  the 
various  Indian  tribes  of  which  he  had  knowledge  and  many  of  wdiom  he  had 
personally  visited.  Among  these  we  find  mentioned  the  Maingonis.  These  were 
probably  the  Moingonas,  who  at  this  period  dwelt  along  the  Illinois  river,  though 
they  were  found  in  Iowa  not  many  years  later.  Our  capital  is  named  from  the 
river  Des  ^loines  i.  e..  La  riviere  des  Moingonas.  I  believe  this  to  be  the  earliest 
appearance  of  the  name  in  history. 

Among  other  missions  soon  established  in  the  far  northwest,  was  one  at 
La  Pointe,  near  Bayfield,  on  Lake  Superior,  in  northern  Wisconsin,  near  the 
trading  station  occupied  eight  or  nine  years  before  by  Radisson.  This  was 
the  direct  successor  of  the  old  Huron  mission  at  the  head  of  Georgian  bay ; 
for,  as  just  explained,  it  was  to  this  region  that  the  Hurons  and  Ottawas  had 
fled  in  their  terror  of  the  Iroquois.  Here  was  stationed  Father  Jacques  Mar- 
quette, a  young  man  of  thirty  years  and  one  of  the  most  picturesque  characters 
among  the  Jesuits  in  North  America. 

Indians  from  far  and  near  resorted  to  these  mission  stations  to  meet  the 
French  fur  traders  on  their  yearly  visits.  Marquette,  at  La  Pointe,  heard  repeat- 
edly from  members  of  the  Illinois  tribes  of  the  "great  river"  by  which  they 
came  thither  to  trade — the  same  "great  river,"  he  had  no  doubt,  which  was 
]:)elieved  by  some  geographers  to  flow  into  the  Vermilion  Sea  (Gulf  of  Cali- 
fornia), by  others  into  the  Gulf  of  Mexico.  He  would  explore  it;  but,  before 
the  opportunity  presented  itself,  the  Sioux  Indians,  the  'Troquois  of  the  West," 
became  openly  hostile  and  the  dispirited  Hurons  and  Ottawas  fled  again — the 
Hurons  to  Machillimackinac  (Mackinac),  and  the  Ottawas  to  the  Manitoulin 
islands.  ]\Iarquette  v.'ent  with  the  Hurons  and  established  his  new  mission  at 
St.  Ignace,  at  the  head  of  Lake  IMichigan,  on  the  main  land  of  the  northern 
peninsula  of  Alichigan  just  opposite  Mackinac  island.  At  about  the  same  time 
another  important  missionary  and  trading  station  was  established  at  the  head 
of  Green  bay,  in  Wisconsin. 

Talon,  the  capable  intendent  of  New  France,  was  now  devoting  his  best 
energies  to  establishing  the  claim  of  the  mother  country  to  that  region  in  the 
west,  the  real  extent  of  which  w-as  beginning  to  unfold  itself  with  the  simul- 
taneous advance  of  missionary  and  fur  trader.  He  meant  to  occupy  this  region 
and  secure  control  of  its  great  water-ways.  Little  recked  he  of  Far  Cathay. 
He  dreamed  of  a  vast  new  empire  for  France.  The  English,  mere  grubbers  of 
the  soil,  were  to  be  confined  to  the  region  l)etween  the  Atlantic  coast  and  the 
Alleghanies,  while  Spanish  influence  was  to  be  thwarted  by  the  establishment 
of  French  colonies  on  the  Gulf  of  JMexico. 

A  splendid  expedition  was  organized  under  Saint  Lusson,  acting  as  lieuten- 
ant, and  sent  to  Sault  Ste.  ]\Iarie  to  take  formal  possession  of  the  whole  interior 
of  North  America  in  the  name  of  the  French  King,  Louis  XIV.  But  Talon 
was  determined  to  give  the  claim  made  in  behalf  of  his  sovereign  a  more  sub- 
stantial foundation.     He  resolved  to  discover  and  map  the  course  of  that  mys- 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  19 

terious  "great  river"  concerning  which  such  conflicting  but  insistent  rumors 
had  been  current  ever  since  the  days  of  Champlain.  To  execute  his  purpose 
he  chose  Louis  JoHet. 

At  this  juncture,  however.  Talon  disagreed  with  the  governor  and  both  were 
recalled.  The  new  governor,  Comte  de  Frontenac,  at  once  adopted  the  ideas  of 
Talon  and  proceeded  to  their  execution.  Joliet  was  confirmed  in  his  appoint- 
ment. 

The  way  to  Mackinac,  to  which  place  Joliet  now  journeyed,  was  not  new 
to  him.  He  was  already  a  path-finder,  having  only  recently  demonstrated  the 
continuity  of  Lake  Ontario  and  Lake  Erie  with  the  other  lakes  of  the  system. 
At  Mackinac  he  was  joined  by  Father  Marc|uette,  still  in  charge  of  the  Huron 
mission  at  St.  Ignace.  It  was  early  spring.  The  ice  had  just  left  the  straits. 
They  made  instant  haste  to  prepare  for  the  journey.  Five  companions  were 
chosen — all  Frenchmen  and  experienced  wood-rangers.  Their  two  canoes  were 
selected  with  unusual  care.  They  were  of  birch  bark,  stiflrened  with  cedar 
splints.  Though  large  enough  to  carry  safely  the  seven  voyageurs  and  their 
provisions  of  smoked  meat  and  maize,  besides  blankets,  camp  utensils,  guns, 
instruments  and  a  quantity  of  trinkets  to  serve  as  presents  to  the  Indians,  they 
were  still  light  enough  to  be  easily  portable.  Joliet  and  the  five  wood-rangers 
were  dressed  in  the  buckskin  suits  then  worn  by  frontiersmen ;  but  Marquette 
retained  his  long  black  Jesuit's  cassock  and  cumbered  himself  with  no  weapon 
save  his  rosary. 

On  the  seventeenth  of  May,  1673,  they  pushed  off  their  canoes  into  tlie 
crescent-shaped  bay  at  St.  Ignace,  rounded  the  point  to  the  south,  and  headed 
westward  along  the  northern  shore  of  Lake  Michigan.  The  voyageurs  must 
have  felt  the  quickening  influence  of  the  changing  season.  They  paddled  all 
day,  relieving  one  another  by  turns.  Trolling  lines  were  set  to  catch  fish.  At 
twilight  they  landed  to  prepare  for  the  night.  The  sand  of  the  beach  still 
retained  the  heat  of  the  midday  sun.  Each  canoe  was  hauled  up  beyond  the 
reach  of  the  waves,  turned  over  and  propped  up  by  one  edge  to  serve  as  shelter. 
One  of  the  party  collected  dry  drift  wood  for  the  fire.  Another  cut  forked  sticks 
and  set  them  up  in  the  sand  to  hold  a  cross  bar  upon  which  the  kettle  was  hung. 
Hulled  corn  was  cooked  ;  the  fish  were  broiled  in  the  embers ;  and  Marquette 
blessed  the  simple  meal.  Then,  sitting  'round  the  camp  fire,  the  tired  explorers 
smoked  their  pipes  and  rested.  Such  was  the  routine  of  their  voyage  on  Lake 
Michigan. 

Pushing  on  day  after  day,  along  the  route  followed  by  Xicollet  thirty-nine 
years  before,  the  party  soon  entered  the  Baie  des  Puans,  later  known  as  Grande 
Baye,  now  Green  bay.  They  turned  into  the  Menominee  river  and  visited 
the  village  of  the  Indian  tribe  of  the  same  name,  which  name  signifies  wild 
rice.  Here  they  heard  dreadful  tales  of  the  country  and  the  river  which  they 
were  about  to  visit  and  were  urged  to  go  no  farther.  A  few  days  later  they 
were  welcomed  at  the  mission  at  the  head  of  the  bay,  still  conducted,  as  it  had 
been  founded,  by  Father  Claude  Allouez.  After  making  some  final  arrange- 
ments here  they  ascended  Fox  river,  crossed  Lake  Winnebago,  and  entered  the 
devious  upper  course  of  the  same  stream.     On  the  seventh  of  June,  they  had 


20  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COLNTV 

reached  the  neighborhood  of  the  portage  to  the  \Msconsin  river,  first  made 
known  by  Nicohet. 

Guides  were  secured  to  conduct  them  to  the  point  to  which  the  portage 
was  easiest  reached,  they  carried  their  canoes  and  baggage  a  mile  and  a  half 
over  a  marshy  prairie  and,  parting  with  their  guides,  launched  upon  the  Mescon- 
sing  (Wisconsin),  whose  current  might  bear  them  to  the  South  Sea,  the  Gulf  of 
California  or  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  they  knew  not  which. 

The  navigation  of  the  Wisconsin  presented  no  serious  difficulties,  and  ten 
days  later,  on  the  seventeenth  of  June,  the  explorers  floated  out  upon  the  broad 
surface  of  a  mighty  river,  which  they  must  have  recognized  at  once  as  the 
"great  water"  which  they  had  been  sent  to  find  out  and  explore.  They  were  in 
the  shadow  of  the  almost  mountainous  blufif  at  the  foot  of  which  lies  the  quaint 
little  town  of  South  AIcGregor,  the  Bingen  of  the  Mississippi.  Beyond  lay  the 
rolling  prairies  of  Iowa ;  but  little  did  they,  or  their  successors  for  a  century  and 
a  half  to  come,  dream  of  such  a  commonwealth  as  ours.  The  depth  and  breadth 
of  the  channel  and  the  swiftness  of  the  current  gave  them  some  notion  of  the 
extent  of  the  territory  to  which  they  had  gained  access. 

The  canoes  were  turned  down  stream  and,  as  they  floated  on,  the  voyageurs 
justly  marvelled  at  the  grandeur  of  the  prospect,  which  developed  new  features 
at  every  turn  of  the  great  river.  For  days  the  easy  voyage  along  the  eastern 
border  of  Iowa  was  continued  without  meeting  the  slightest  trace  of  human 
habitation.  Late  each  afternoon  they  landed  to  stretch  their  cramped  limbs  and 
do  their  simple  cooking;  then  carefully  extinguishing  the  fire  they  floated  some 
miles  farther  on  and  anchored  after  dark  at  a  distance  from  the  shore,  leaving 
one  of  the  party  on  guard  while  the  others  slept.  At  sunrise  they  were  under 
way  again.  Once  those  in  Marquettes  canoe  were  frightened  by  a  huge  cat- 
fish that  threatened  to  damage  their  frail  craft.  The  great  sturgeon  that  "rushed 
through  the  water  like  hungry  sharks"  also  excited  their  wonder  and  apprehen- 
sion. Buffalo  and  deer  came  down  to  the  water's  edge  and  vvild  turkeys  w^ere 
often  seen.     Such  was  the  routine  of  their  voyage  upon  the  Mississippi. 

Not  a  canoe,  but  a  hut  or  a  landing  place,  not  a  sign  of  human  habitation 
was  seen  until  the  twenty-fifth  of  June,  when  they  discovered  human  footprints 
at  the  water's  edge  on  the  west  bank.  Leaving  their  companions  to  guard  the 
canoes,  the  two  leaders  landed,  quite  unarmed.  A  trail  was  found  conducting 
up  the  bank  and  into  the  interior.  They  followed  it  for  five  or  six  miles  over  a 
fine  rolling  prairie  to  a  village,  or  rather  a  group  of  three  villages,  situated  near 
a  considerable  stream.  Their  reception  was  ceremonious,  but  cordial.  The 
Indians  were  of  the  Illinois  nation  and  had  crossed  the  Mississippi  to  escape  the 
prowling  bands  of  Iroquois  whose  devastating  raids  were  feared  even  as  far  west 
as  this.  The  villages  were  called  Peouaria,  after  the  tribe  which  occupied  them. 
Another  village  called  Moingouena  is  also  set  down  upon  Marquette's  map  at 
some  distance,  though  he  makes  no  mention  of  it  in  his  narrative.  The  first  of 
these  names  survives  as  Peoria,  the  now  populous  district  of  which  this  city  is 
the  center,  being  the  proper  country  of  the  Illinois  tribes.  The  second  name. 
Moingouena,  has,  as  we  have  already  explained,  been  corrupted  into  Des  ]\Ioines 
and  applied  to  the  stream  supposed  to  be  the  one  upon  whose  banks  the  vil- 
lages visited  by  Marquette  were  located.     Careful  study  of  his  map  and  a  com- 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUXT^'  21 

parison  of  latitudes,  however,  indicate  beyond  reasonable  doubt  that  the  site  in 
question  was  near  the  mouth  of  our  own  Iowa  (or  Cedar)  river.  Such  being 
the  case,  the  town  of  Wapello,  in  Louisa  county,  cannot  be  far  from  the  point 
at  which  was  held  this  tirst  conference  on  Iowa  soil,  if  not  in  the  Mississippi 
valley,  between  the  white  man  and  the  Indian. 

I'he  Indians  begged  the  Frenchmen  to  remain  with  them,  assuring  them 
that  the  sun  had  never  shone  so  brightly  nor  their  tobacco  had  so  rich  a  flavor 
as  since  their  arrival.  An  elaborate  banquet  was  served,  the  four  courses  being 
in  order  hulled  corn,  hsh,  dog.  and  buffalo  marrow  bones.  Presents  were 
exchanged.  'The  calmnet  was  smoked  with  due  formalities  and  given  to  i\Iar- 
quette  as  a  peace  token  to  be  displayed  as  occasion  might  require. 

So  hospitable  was  their  entertainment  that  it  was  the  end  of  June,  before 
the  explorers  felt  that  they  could  with  propriety  return  to  their  canoes  and  resume 
their  voyage.  Some  days  later  they  passed  the  mouth  of  the  Illinois,  then  that 
of  the  Missouri.  This  last  stream  must  have  been  at  high  water  for  it  is 
described  as  a  "torrent  of  yellow  mud  sweeping  in  its  course  logs,  branches 
and  uprooted  trees."  They  seem  to  have  been  duly  impressed  by  the  vastness 
of  a  continent  that  could  send  forth  two  such  mighty  rivers.  The  mouth  of 
the  Ohio  was  next  passed  and  still  they  allow^ed  themselves  to  be  borne  along 
by  the  swift  current  day  after  day.  However  the  Indians  became  less  friendly. 
Strange  tribes  were  encountered  with'  whom  not  even  Marquette  could  con- 
verse. They  were  regarded  with  suspicion  and,  at  times,  were  even  in  peril ; 
but  the  peace  calumet  never  failed  to  secure  them  safe  passage  in  the  end.  The 
long  voyage  back,  against  the  current  of'  the  fiver,  was  becoming  a  matter  for 
serious  consideration.  Finally,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Arkansas  river  they  deter- 
mined to  turn  back.  They  rightly  regarded  the  problem  of  the  Mississippi  as 
solved.  To  go  on  would  avail  them  nothing  and  might,  they  thought,  lead  to 
their  capture  by  Spaniards  and  the  consequent  sacrifice  of  the  results  of  their 
expedition. 

On  the  seventeenth  of  July,  just  two  months  after  leaving  St.  Ignace,  and 
one  month  after  the  discovery  of  the  river,  they  began  the  tedious  journey 
home.  Week  in  and  week  out  they  toiled  on,  the  midsummer  sun  beating  fiercely 
upon  their  backs  as  they  plied  the  paddles.  Marcjuette  was  seized  with  a  pain- 
ful illness  f'om  which  he  never  wholly  recovered.  Upon  reaching  the  mouth 
of  the  Illinois  river  they  were  assured  that  the  easiest  route  to  Mackinac  lay 
up  this  river  and  by  portage  into  Lake  Michigan  (Lac  des  Illinois).  Their  toil- 
some journey  now  became,  relatively,  a  triumphal  pageant  under  the  escort  of 
the  friendly  Kaskaskias.  a  tribe  of  the  great  Illinois  nation. 

The  route  took  them  up  the  Des  Plaines  river,  past  an  isolated  bluff'  which 
traders  later  named  Mont  Joliet  and  which  marks  the  site  of  the  modern  town 
of  Joliet.  Forty  miles  farther  on  they  made  the  Chicago  portage.  Even  then 
Joliet  noted  the  strategic  importance  of  this  portage  and  later  indicated,  in  his 
report  to  Frontenac,  the  ease  with  which  the  Mississippi  valley  could  be  opened 
to  commerce  by  means  of  a  canal  connecting  the  Chicago  and  the  Des  Plaines 
rivers.  Ijidding  adieu  to  their  escort,  they  once  more  launched  their  canoes 
upon  Lake  Michigan  and  made  their  way  along  its  western  shore  to  the  post  at 


22  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

the  head  of  Green  bay,  where  they  were  again  in  touch  with  civiHzation — such 
as  the  New  World  then  afforded. 

The  way  to  Iowa — to  the  whole  Middle  West,  as  well — had  been  discovered. 
But  between  this  discovery  of  Iowa  and  the  beginning  of  its  proper .  history, 
there  is  an  interval  of  a  century  or  more.  During  this  interval  the  region  was 
frequently  and  even  continuously  visited  by  white  men.  Its  broad  prairies,  the 
^Mesopotamia  of  the  New  World,  were  doubtless  well  known  to  the  French 
and  American  traders  who  by  turns  coursed  up  and  down  the  [Mississippi  and 
the  Missouri  in  quest  of  buffalo  skins. 

But  the  men  who  have  made  Iowa  and  our  Middle  \\'est  what  it  is  today 
came,  not  by  way  of  the  Great  Lakes  from  Canada,  nor  up  stream  from  the 
French  colonies  of  Louisiana ;  not  in  canoes  laden  with  baubles,  such  as  cheat 
the  savage,  but  in  emigrant  wagons  with  wives  and  children  and  bringing  imple- 
ments of  agriculture.  They  came  swarming  through  the  passes  of  the  Alle- 
ghanies  and  brought  with  them  into  this  land  the  spirit  of  the  American  Revolu- 
tion— the  spirit  of  the  free  state  founded  upon  the  Christian  home. 


CHAPTER  III 
THE  MOL'XD  BUILDERS. 

THE       GLACIER       MAX EXCLOSURE       MUUXDS ALTAR       AND       BURIAL       MOUNDS 

SIGNAL  MOUNDS CHARACTERISTICS  OF  THE  MOUND  BUILDERS COMMERCE  AND 

INDUSTRIES FIRE     AND     SUN     WORSHIPERS DRIVEN     FROM     THEIR     HOMES     UV 

THE  RED   -ALVN MAJOR  WILLIAMS'  ACCOUNT "bONE  YARD   HOLLOW/' 

Along  the  fronts  of  the  great  glaciers,  which  centuries  ago  came  from  the 
north  and  covered  a  large  part  of  the  state  of  Iowa,  there  lived  a  race  of  people 
not  unlike  the  present  Eskimos.  As  the  glaciers  receded  these  people  moved 
northward.  They  were  short  of  stature,  stout,  flat-featured  men  and  women. 
^^'e  know  very  little  about  them,  except  the  accepted  belief  of  their  existence. 
They  were  succeeded  by  another  race  of  people,  whom  for  sake  of  a  better 
name  we  call  Mound  Builders.  We  know  more  of  the  Mound  Builders  than 
of  the  race  which  preceded  them.  The  mound  builder  was  superior  both  in 
intelligence  and  civilization  to  the  glacier  man.  All  over  the  American  continent 
are  scattered  the  alluvial  mounds  of  this  extinct  and  prehistoric  people.  They  are 
countless  in  number,  often  vast  in  extent,  and  varied  in  character.  The  mounds 
are  of  tv,"o  general  classes,  enclosures  and  mounds  proper. 

The  chief  purpose  of  the  enclosures  was  defense.  Many  of  them  are  of 
vast  extent.  One  at  Aztalan.  \\  isconsin,  covers  seventeen  acres.  Its  shape  is 
that  of  an  irregular  parallelogram,  with  embankments  twenty-two  feet  wide  and 
from  one  to  five  feet  in  height.  At  Xewark,  Ohio,  is  a  very  intricate  series  of 
earthworks  covering  an  area  of  two  square  miles.  It  consists  of  circles,  octagons, 
and  avenues  with  parallel  walls  nearly  5,000  feet  in  length.  In  places  the 
parapets  rise  to  a  height  of  sixteen  feet,  with  a  ditch  thirteen  feet  deep,  making 
the  altitude  in  the  interior  about  thirty  feet.  Within  this  enclosure  is  the  race 
course  of  the  fair  association  of  the  present  day,  the  banks  of  earth  making 
grand  stands,  from  which  another  civilization  may  view  the  contests  of  speed. 
These  banks  are  todav  covered  with  gigantic  hardwood  trees,  manv  of  them 
black  walnut. 

A  striking  form  of  the  sacred  enclosure  is  th.at  known  as  the  "Animal  Mound." 
These  are  particularly  numerous  in  Wisconsin.  The  outlines  of  these  works  show 
the  bas-reliefs  of  sacred  animals:  probably  the  totem  of  the  different  tribes,  as 
the  turtle,  lizard,  serpent,  alligator,  eagle,  night-hawk  and  buff'alo.  The  one 
representing  the  turtle  has  a  bod\'  fifty-six  feet  long,  with  a  tail  two  hundred 
and  fifty  feet  long,  and  with  the  general  height  of  the  body  about  six  feet.  The 
"(ireat  Serpent"  in  Adams  counlw  Ohio,  is  700  feet  in  length,  and  the  "Alligator'* 
in  Licking  county,  of  the  same   state,   is   250   feet   in   length.     In   Dane  county. 

23 


24  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Wisconsin,  there  is  a  mound  showing  the  figure  of  a  man  driving  his  dog  team 
hitched  to  a  sleigh.  The  fortified  enclosures  extend  in  a  line  from  western  New 
York  to  the  Ohio  river. 

The  mounds  proper  are  most  numerous  in  Ohio  and  extend  southward  into 
Kentucky  and  westward  to  the  Des  Moines  valley  in  Iowa.  In  the  latter  state 
they  are  most  numerous  in  the  counties  of  Jackson,  Louisa,  Qayton,  Scott,  Boone 
and  Webster.  This  class  of  mounds  may  be  subdivided,  according  to  the  pur- 
pose for  which  they  were  used,  into  altar  or  sacrificial,  temple,  sepulchral  and 
observation.  The  altar  or  sacrificial  mounds  occur  only  near  the  sacred  enclosure. 
They  are  stratified  in  structure  and  contain  symmetrical  altars  or  hearts  of  burned 
clay  or  stone,  on  which  were  deposited  various  remains,  which  in  all  cases  have 
been  subjected  to  the  action  of  fire.  They  contain  charred  bones,  charcoal, 
carved  pipes  and  small  trinkets,  indicating  that  they  were  used  for  cremating 
dead  bodies  and  it  may  be  for  human  sacrifice.  Temple  mounds  are  chiefly  in 
the  form  of  truncated  pyramids,  with  graded  avenues  to  their  top,  which  are 
always  level.  In  Kentucky  there  is  one  fifty  feet  in  height.  The  Teocallis  struc- 
tures in  Alexico  and  Central  America  were  faced  with  flights  of  steps  and  sur- 
mounted by  temples  of  stone.  The  sepulchral  mounds  are  the  most  numerous. 
They  contain  the  remains  of  one  or  more  bodies,  together  with  trinkets,  cups, 
and  vases.  The  vessels  were  probably  filled  with  food  for  the  use  of  the  dead 
upon  their  long  journey.  In  general  this  class  of  mounds  are  not  large.  Where 
they  are  of  any  considerable  size  they  are  the  burial  place  of  a  chief.  One  near 
Wheeling  is  seventy  feet  in  height  and  nine  hundred  feet  in  circumference.  There 
were  found  in  this  three  bodies  and  over  3.000  shell  beads.  Sometimes  urns  are 
found  containing  charred  human  remains  suggesting  a  possible  cremation.  The 
observation  mounds  are  so  called  because  of  the  belief  that  they  were  used  for 
signal  towers.  Their  site,  however,  may  have  been  chosen  simply  because  of 
the  beauty  of  the  spot  for  sacrificial  or  sepulchral  purposes.  They  are  found 
on  points  of  land  overlooking  the  river  valleys  and  commanding  an  extensive 
view.  Here  a  smoke  by  day  and  a  fire  by  night  could  carry  its  message  of  war 
or  peace. 

The  Mound  Builders  must  have  been  a  very  populous  and  comparatively 
civilized  agricultural  people  or  they  could  not  have  created  the  vast  structures 
which  they  did.  It  is  estimated  that  in  the  state  of  Ohio  alone  there  are  10,000 
of  these  mounds.  They  were  a  people  with  settled  habitations,  dwellers,  and  not 
wandering  nomads.  They  had  a  government,  so  far  centralized  as  to  have  an 
executive  head,  with  power  sufficient  to  maintain  order  and  discipline,  and 
direct  intelligently  the  building  of  such  large  public  works.  An  examination 
of  the  crania  show  them  to  have  been  a  homogeneous  people,  but  differing  from 
the  Indian.  Their  cranial  development  was  of  low  order.  They  were  of  a 
mild  disposition,  inofifensive  and  unwarlike  in  their  habits,  and  content  to  toil 
like  Egyptian  serfs  in  the  vast  and  profitless  labors  of  mound  building.  If 
unmolested,  they  would  have  in  time  developed  a  partial  civilization  of  an 
agricultural  type,  in  the  favorable  environment  of  the  Mississippi  and  Ohio 
valleys.  Their  disposition  however  made  them  an  easy  prey  to  warlike  tribes, 
even  if  of  an  inferior  civilization.  Dr.  Foster,  in  his  book  on  the  "Prehistoric 
Races  of  America,"  considers  that  these  earliest  inhabitants  were  in  their  cranial 
conformation  and  civilization  closely  linked  to  the  people   of  Mexico,   Central 


FIRST  N-ATIO^^AL  BANK  BlTILDIXCx.  FORT  DODGE. 
Opened  for  Business,  April.  1908 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  25 

America  and  Peru.  Their  long  occupancy  of  the  Mississippi  valley  developed 
a  domestic  economy  and  civil  relationship,  that  widely  distinguished  them  from 
the  Indian  races.  They  were  probably  sun  or  fire  worshipers,  and  may  have 
even  sometimes  offered  human  sacrifice.  The  gigantic  structures,  which  they 
built,  could  only  have  been  erected  by  a  people  among  whom  food  was  cheap. 
That  food  was  undoubtedly  maize,  the  most  prolific  cereal  in  the  world. 

The  remains  found  in  the  mounds  show  an  advanced  knowledge  of  both 
art  and  manufacturing.  There  are  arrow  heads,  stone  axes,  fleashers  and 
scrapers  for  stripping  hide  from  slaughtered  animals  and  cleaning  it,  pestles 
and  mortars  for  grinding  corn,  and  pipes.  ]^Iany  of  these  pipes  are  elaborately 
carved  and  fashioned  in  the  shape  of  animals  and  the  human  form.  The  best 
examples  of  these,  thus  far  found,  have  been  in  Scott  county,  Iowa.  They  were 
made  in  the  image  of  elephants  and  other  animals  now  unknown  to  Iowa,  thus 
indicating  that  these  people  may  have  lived  in  Iowa  at  the  time  when  the  mastadon 
existed.  In  some  of  the  mounds  have  been  found  discs  of  hard  quartz,  the 
circumferences  of  which  are  perfect  circles.  These  were  probably  used  in  games 
of  chance..  There  have  also  been  found  implements  used  in  the  spinning  of  thread 
and  manufacture  of  cloth.  The  cloth  found  in  the  mounds  is  closely  woven. 
A  specimen,  now  in  the  museum  of  the  Davenport  Academy  of  Science,  shows 
great  advance  in  textile  art.  The  warp  is  composed  of  four  cords,  that  is,  of 
two  double  and  twisted  cords,  while  the  woof  is  composed j3f  one  such  double  and 
twisted  cord,  which  passes  between  the  twQ:-;pa:rts.  dfl'thfiWarp,  the  latter  being 
twisted  at  each  change,  allowing  the  cords 'to  be.  brought  close  together,  so  as  to 
cover  the  woof  almost  entirely.  The  pottery  ware  exhibits  graceful  forms  and 
elegant  ornamentation,  besides  displaying  much  skill-in  its, manufacture.  On  some 
the  human  face  and  form  have  been  delineated  w^ith  much  fidelity  and  grace.  The 
features,  as  pictured  upon  this  ware,  differ  greatly  from  that  of  the  Indian.  The 
native  Indian  seldom  made  pottery.  At  Saline  Springs,  Illinois,  there  is  found 
evidence  of  the  manufacture  of  salt  by  evaporation.  These  people  were  also 
skilled  basket  makers. 

The  most  important  domestic  industry  of  the  Mound  Builders  was  the 
making  of  copper  implements,  such  as  knives,  chisels,  axes,  awls,  spears,  arrow- 
heads and  copper  bracelets.  The  softness  of  the  metal  made  it  impossible  to  use 
in  cutting  stone,  and  consequently  they  did  not  erect  structures  of  stone  like  the 
peoples  of  the  south  in  IVIexico  and  Central  America.  They  had  no  tin  to  use 
as  an  alloy  in  making  bronze.  However,  they  had  some  knowledge  of  the  art  of 
reducing  metals. 

The  copper  mines  of  the  Mound  Builders  were  in  the  Lake  Superior  region, 
where  they  mined  the  native  copper.  At  Ontanagon  and  Kewanee  Point  on  the 
south  shore  of  the  lake,  and  at  Isle  Royal  on  the  north  shore,  are  found  the  remains 
of  their  mining  operations.  Here  w^as  found  a  mass  of  native  copper  lying  upon 
oaken  sleepers  and  raised  over  five  feet  above  its  matrix.  This  mass  of  copper 
weighed  six  tons.  Strewn  about  the  place  were  the  tools  of  the  miners,  their 
stone  mauls  and  hammers,  props,  levers  and  ladders.  These  were  not  used  by 
the  present  race  of  Indians,  for  when  the  Jesuits  first  visited  them  they  had  no 
knowledge  or  use  of  copper  except  occasional  fragments.  On  the  rubbish  of  one 
mine  refuse  heap  early  investigators  found  growing  a  hemlock  tree,  which  showed 
395  annular  rings. 


26  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

The  commerce  of  the  Mound  Builders  was  extensive  and  in  some  degree  well 
organized.  In  their  mounds  are  found  copper  from  Lake  Superior,  mica  from 
North  Carolina,  iron  from  Missouri,  obsidian  from  Mexico,  and  ornamental  shells 
from  the  Gulf  Coast.  Their  commerce  and  exchange  must  have  covered  a  large 
portion  of  the  LTiited  States  and  Mexico.  The  same  mica  quarries,  in  North 
Carolina,  which  supplied  these  earlier  races,  is  today  the  chief  source  of  supply 
for  the  United  States. 

After  the  Mound  Builders  had  been  in  possession  of  the  countr\-  for  some 
time,  savage  races  from  the  east  and  west  came  down  upon  them.  The  Algon- 
quins,  pushing  westward  by  way  of  the  St.  Lawrence  and  the  Great  Lakes,  met 
in  the  Mississippi  valley  the  vSioux  or  Dakotahs,  who  had  come  down  the  Missouri 
from  the  Rocky  Mountains.  The  Sioux  were  even  more  warlike  than  the  Algon- 
quins.  Between  the  two  the  ^lound  Builders  were  crushed.  In  vain  they  oppose^l. 
Their  resistance  may  have  been  slight,  or  they  may  have  fought  long  and 
valiantly,  and  behind  their  mounds  made  many  a  brave  defense.  Iowa  was  tl:e 
battle  ground,  but  the  records  are  lost.  The  mounds  alone  bear  mute  testimony 
to  the  deeds  of  the  races  that  were.  It  is  possible  that  the  IVIound  Builders  may 
have  fled  to  the  southwest  and  there  became  the  Cliff  Dwellers  of  Arizona  and 
New  Alexico. 

The  mounds  of  Webster  county  consist  of  the  two  classes,  observation  and 
burial  mounds.  They  are  found  on  both  sides  of  the  Des  Moines  river  and  along 
the  banks  of  the  Lizard  creek.  They  are  especially  numerous  in  the  neighbor- 
hood of  Lehigh  and  ]\IcGuire's  Bend.  Mrs.  George  Marsh  and  a  number  of 
others  living  in  that  vicinity  have  fine  collections  gathered  from  these  mounds 
and  about  them.  Numerous  skeletons  have  also  been  found  in  the  Webster 
county  mounds,  and  one  recently  opened  in  Boone  county,  a  few  miles  north 
of  Boone,  contained  many  fine  specimens.  In  1876  an  exceptional  find  was 
made  on  the  Marshall  farm  near  the  southern  boundary  of  Humboldt  county. 
A  nvmiber  of  people  had  gathered  here  to  celebrate  the  Fourth  of  July  and 
as  part  of  the  ceremony  decided  to  erect  a  flag  pole  upon  a  large  mound  near 
the  house.  In  excavating  for  the  pole  they  unsuspectingly  opened  a  burial  place 
of  the  ancient  Mound  Builders.  In  it  they  found  the  skeletons  of  thirteen  people. 
The  bodies  had  been  buried  in  a  sitting  posture,  and  were  arranged  in  a  circle 
facing  outward. 

]\Iajor  \\'illiams,  writing  to  the  'Towa  Northwest"'  in  1866.  says:  "We  found 
many  remains  of  ancient  fortifications  and  mounds,  which  had  evidently,  from 
their  location  and  construction,  been  at  some  remote  period  raised  for  defense, 
and  positions  of  observation,  giving  evidence  that  this  northern  country  was 
inhabited  by  a  race  of  people  living  before  the  present  race  of  Indians  inhabited 
it.  On  viewing  the  location  and  tracing  the  lines,  we  found  them  arranged  with 
some  judgment.  Others  evidently  were  burial  places.  On  directing  the  attention 
of  the  Indians  to  them,  we  were  unable  to  find  any,  even  among  the  oldest  Sioux, 
who  had  any  knowledge  of  them,  either  by  traditions  or  otherwise.  They  all 
asserted  that  they  were  here  when  their  people  first  came  into  the  country.  The 
most  distinct  of  these  ancient  works  will  be  found  in  the  forks  of  the  Boone, 
on  and  in  the  neighborhood  of  L.  Mericle's  place,  on  the  west  side  of  the  Des 
Moines  near  where  AFr.  Beam  lives,  also  on  Indian  creek  about  twelve  miles 
north  of  Fort  Dodge,  on  Lizard  river  and  at  Fort  Dodge.     Some  of  the  mounds 


WAHKONSA  HOTEL  LOBBY,  OPENED  SEPTEMBEE  19,  1910 


PUBLl 


I 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  27 

at  Fort  Dodge  have  been  removed,  and  in  digging  into  them  they  were  found  to 
contain  the  remains  of  human  beings ;  such  as  parts  of  skulls,  teeth,  thigh-bones, 
etc.,  and  along  with  them  pieces  of  burnt  or  charred  wood  and  coals.  From  their 
location  on  high  and  dry  ground,  covered  with  sand  and  gravel,  together  with  the 
appearance  of  the  bones,  their  color,  etc.,  physicians  and  all  who  examined  them 
were  of  the  opinion  that  a  great  length  of  time  had  elapsed  since  they  had  been 
deposited  there,  perhaps  two  hundred  years  or  more.  The  ancient  mound  builders 
were  in  the  habit  of  burning  their  dead,  which  is  not  the  custom  of  any  of  the 
Indians  of  whom  we  have  knowledge." 

Some  three  or  four  miles  north  of  the  town  of  Lehigh  is  what  is  known  as 
''Boneyard  Hollow."     There  a  little  wet  weather  stream  enters  the  Des  Moines 
river  from  the  adjacent  bluff,  making  a  terrace.    This  terrace  is  flat-topped,  eight 
or  ten  rods  wide  and  five  to  ten  feet  above  the  normal  stage  of  water  in  the  river. 
The  river  is  here  bounded  by  bluffs  fifteen  to  thirty  feet  in  height,  and  extending 
some  distance  back  from  the  river.     It  is  a  picturesque  gorge  cut  in  the  carbon- 
iferous sandstone.     The  age  of  the  terrace  is  probably  that  of  the  Wisconsin 
glaciers.     Whether  or  not  the  terrace  is  later  than  the  deposit  of  bones,  which 
have  been  found  in  connection  with  it,  is  difficult  to  tell.     Intermingled  with  the 
bones  are  found  arrow  points.     This  would  indicate  that  man  and  the  animals 
were  contemporaneous.     It  looks  as  if  there  had  been  no  disturbance  of  the  ter- 
race or  addition  to  its  materials  since  they  were  first  deposited  there.     Forest 
trees  have  grown  to  maturity  upon  the  earth  covering  the  bones.     The  bone 
deposits  occur  upon  both  sides  of  the  stream,  which  has  evidently  cut  its  way 
through  the  deposit.     The  bones  that  have  been  discovered  resemble  those  of  the 
deer,  elk  and  buffalo.    Upon  exposure  to  the  air  they  immediately  crumble.    The 
teeth,  Ijeing  of  a  harder  substance,  are  still  fairly  well  preserved,  and  have  been 
gathered  by  various  collectors.    Scattered  among  the  bones  there  have  been  found, 
besides  the  arrow  heads,  numerous  flint  and  stone  implements.    Some  of  the  imple- 
ments were  made  of  native  copper,  which  must  have  been  brought  from  some 
distance.     It  is  the  opinion  of  some  people,  who  have  visited  the  "Hollow,"  that 
this  deposit  was  the  kitchen  refuse  from  a  settlement  of  Mound  Builders,  and 
that  afterwards  they  were  covered  with  silt  from  the  Wisconsin  drift.     Professor 
Samuel  Calvin  visited  this  locality  a  number  of  years  ago,  but  was  unwilling  to 
give  an  opinion  as  to  the  origin  of  the  deposit,  except  that  it  was  old  as  compared 
with  the  historic  period  of  Iowa.     He  however  thought  it  was  highly  improbable 
that  the  deposit  was  either  preglacial  or  interglacial. 

Another  interesting  find,  which,  however,  is  not  connected  with  the  Mound 
Builders,  was  a  deposit  of  bones  found  by  Mr.  Henry  Engholm  upon  his  farm 
in  Deer  Creek  township.  These  bones  were  the  skeletons  of  the  American  bison. 
They  were  found  in  a  slough  where  they  had  evidently  mired  down  while  in 
search  of  water,  or  where  they  were  driven  to  escape  from  some  pursuing  enemy. 
Mrs.  C.  B.  Hepler  has  a  very  fine  specimen  of  a  skull  of  one  of  these  bisons. 


Vol.  1—3 


CHAPTER  IV 
THE  RED  MAN  IN  IOWA 

COMING  OF  THE  ALGONOUINS  AND  DAKOTAS — THE  ILLINOIS THE    MASCOUTINES 

LOCATION    OF    MUSCATINE — THE    lOWAS — MEANING    OF    THE    WORD    IOWA THE 

SACS    AND    FOXES SAUKENUK BLACK    HAWK'S    WATCH    TOWER THE    WINNE- 

BAGOES ESTABLISHMENT    OF    THE    NEUTRAL    GROUND — THE    SIOUX — "LAKE-OF- 

THE-SPIRITS" SIDOMINADOTAH — BATTLE      BETWEEN      SIOUX      AND      POTTAWAT- 

TAMiES — AT  Mclaughlin's  grove — wahkonsa — how  the  Indians  lost  iowa. 

THE  red  MAN  IN  IOWA 

The  Mound  Builders,  it  appears,  were  an  agricultural  or  shepherd  race,  rather 
than  hunters,  hence,  during  their  occupation  of  this  territory,  game  became  very- 
plentiful.  The  Indians  who  relied  on  the  chase  of  a  livelihood,  upon  learning 
of  this  delightful  hunting  ground  began  to  press  upon  them  from  the  north  and 
west. 

On  the  Atlantic  coast  lived  the  Algonquins.  This  had  been  their  ancient 
home  for  generations.  The  Norsemen  found  them  here  in  the  year  looo.  The 
prospect  of  better  hunting  grounds  caused  them  to  push  westward  by  way  of 
the  St.  Lawrence  river  and  the  Great  Lakes,  overflowing  the  countrv  to  the 
south  and  into  the  Mississippi  valley.  These  Algonquins  embraced  the  Delawares 
(sometimes  called  Lenni  Lenapi),  the  Chippewas,  Shawnees,  Ottawas,  Potta- 
wattamies,  Narragansetts,  Illinois,  Powhatans  (a  confederacy  of  thirty-three 
tribes),  Sac  and  Fox  and  other  Indian  tribes  to  the  number  of  thirty  or  forty. 
All  of  these  spoke  dialects  of  the  same  language. 

From  the  Rocky  Mountain  region  and  the  Northwest  came  the  savage  horde 
known  as  the  Sioux  or  Dakota,  including  the  Dakotas  proper,  the  Assiniboian, 
the  Winnebagoes  who  were  the  parent  stock  of  the  lowas,  Kansas,  Ouappas, 
Omahas,  Osages  and  other  tribes  of  the  lower  Missouri  district  and  others. 

These  two  great  streams  of  savages  first  came  against  each  other  in  the 
valley  of  the  upper  Mississippi  and  then  turned  southward.  The  Algonquins 
from  the  east  seem  to  have  outflanked  the  Sioux,  and  began  to  occupy  that  part 
of  Iowa  that  lies  south  of  a  line  extending  from  the  mouth  of  the  Big  Sioux 
near  Sioux  City,  and  the  Sioux  occupied  the  territory  north  of  this  line  and  in 
Minnesota  besides  penetrating  into  Wisconsin. 

The  first  Indians  seen  in  what  is  now  Iowa  by  a  white  man,  were  of  the  Illini 
or  Illinois  tribe.  When  the  French  explorers,  Marquette  and  Joliet,  in  1673, 
coming  down  the  Mississippi,  landed  in  southeastern  Iowa,  they  encountered 
Indians,  who  called  themselves  Illini,  meaning  "men."     This  apparently  meant 

29 


30  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

they  were  very  brave  and  superior  to  all  other  people.  This  name  seemed  to 
have  embraced  five  sub-tribes,  Peorias,  Cahokias,  Kaskaskias,  Michigamies  and 
Tamaroas.  These  being  of  the  Algonquin  race  were  hereditary  enemies  of  the 
warlike  Iroquois,  or  Six  Nations,  whose  seat  of  government  was  in  the  Mohawk 
valley  in  New  York.  During  the  generations  through  which  their  wars  had 
extended  the  Illinois  had  been  gradually  driven  into  the  region  between  Lake 
Michigan  and  the  Wabash  river,  and  extending  thence  west  across  the  Missis- 
sippi river.  More  than  two  hundred  years  ago,  when  visited  by  Marquette, 
they  had  become  greatly  reduced  in  numbers  and  strength  from  wars  with  the 
Iroquois  on  the  east  and  the  Chickasaws  on  the  south.  When  Iowa  was  next 
visited  by  white  men  the  once  powerful  Illinois  Indians  had  been  nearly  extermi- 
nated by  the  Sacs  and  Foxes. 

THE    MASCOUTINES 

The  records  of  Father  Allouez,  written  in  1670,  mention  a  tribe  called  Mas- 
cout-ines,  who  had  migrated  from  the  Wisconsin  river  valley  into  Iowa.  These 
Indians  were  on  friendly  terms  with  the  Illinois  and  occupied  a  portion  of  Iowa 
west  of  Muscatine  island.  The  Algonquin  word  "Mascoutenck"  means  a  "place 
having  no  woods,"  or  "prairie."  The  Mascoutines  built  a  village  on  the  island 
of  that  name,  which  was  a  level  prairie  embracing  about  twenty  thousand  acres. 

Fierce,  cruel  and  treacherous,  the  Mascoutines  were,  and  generally  at  war 
with  some  other  nation.  They  were  bitter  enemies  of  the  Sacs  and  Foxes,  whom 
they  defeated  in  a  great  conflict  near  the  mouth  of  the  Iowa  river. 

When  La  Salle  descended  the  Mississippi  valley  in  1680,  he  found  this  tribe 
still  in  that  vicinity.  The  Mascoutines,  displeased  with  the  advent  of  the  white 
men,  sent  emissaries  to  the  Illinois  to  influence  them  to  join  in  resistance.  Ninety- 
eight  years  later  they  are  mentioned  as  attending  a  council,  when  Colonel  George 
Rogers  Clark  led  a  party  into  that  region.  Little  more  is  known  of  them  in 
later  times,  except  that  they  lived  near  where  Muscatine  now  stands,  and  that 
the  city  derives  its  name  from  them. 

THE  lOWAS 

In  the  midst  of  the  Algonquins,  dwelt  for  many  years,  a  Dakota  tribe,  the 
lowas.  who  under  their  noted  chief  Man-haw-gaw,  migrated  westward  from  the 
vicinity  of  the  Great  Lakes.  They  crossed  the  Mississippi  and  occupied  the  ter- 
ritory about  the  lower  valley  of  the  Iowa  river,  giving  to  that  stream  its  present 
name,  although  it  was  for  a  long  time  called  the  Ayouas  by  the  earliest  French 
•explorers.  Early  records  show  this  name  spelled  in  various  ways,  Ayouas, 
Ayouways,  Ayoas  and  Aiouex.  Lewis  and  Clark,  in  the  journal  of  their  explora- 
tions in  1804,  refer  to  this  tribe  as  the  Ayouways.  In  later  years  the  spelling 
became  changed  to  loway  and  finally  the  y  was  dropped,  and  we  have  the  name 
Iowa,  with  the  accent  on  the  I. 

A  half-breed  of  French  and  Indian  parentage,  Antoine  Le  Claire,  who  was 
familiar  with  several  of  the  Indian  languages,  defines  the  word  Iowa  as  "This 
is  the  place."  Theodore  S.  Parvin,  a  high  authority,  relates  an  Indian  legend 
as  follows: 


5 

6 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  31 

''This  tribe  separated  from  the  Sacs  and  Foxes  and  wandered  off  westward 
in  search  of  a  new  home.  Crossing  the  Mississippi  river,  they  turned  southward, 
reaching  a  high  bkiff  near  the  mouth  of  the  Iowa  river.  Looking  off  over  the 
beautiful  valley  spread  out  before  them  they  halted,  exclaiming  Toway !'  or  'This 
is  the  place !'  " 

The  lowas  were  worshipers  of  a  Great  Spirit,  the  creator  and  ruler  of  the 
universe.  They  had  a  tradition  that  a  very  long  time  ago  a  month's  rain  came, 
drowning  all  living  animals  and  people,  excepting  a  few,  who  escaped  in  a  great 
canoe.  The  Great  Spirit  then  made  from  red  clay  another  man  and  woman  and 
from  them  all  Indians  descended.  They  regarded  rattlesnakes  and  a  certain 
species  of  hawks  with  veneration. 

Among  themselves  the  lowas  were  called  Pa-hu-cha,  which  in  English  means 
"dusty  nose."  Their  tradition  is  that  they  once  dwelt  on  a  sandbar  from  which 
dust  and  sand  were  blown  into  their  faces,  giving  them  dusty  noses,  and  hence 
their  name  Pa-hu-chas.  Their  language  was  that  of  the  Dakota  group  of  which 
they  were  a  part.  They  were,  however,  enemies  of  the  other  Dakotas,  because 
an  Iowa  chief  had  been  treacherously  slain  by  a  band  of  Sioux.  They  were 
divided  into  eight  clans,  designated  as  Eagle,  Wolf,  Bear,  Pigeon,  Elk,  Beaver, 
Buffalo  and  Snake;  each  clan  having  a  totem  of  the  bird  or  animal  they  repre- 
sented. These  clans  were  also  distinguished,  one  from  another,  by  the  fashion 
in  which  the  hair  was  cut. 

During  the  Civil  war,  the  lowas  were  loyal  to  the  Union,  many  of  them 
enlisting  in  the  northern  army,  and  making  good  soldiers.  The  name  of  the 
greatest  of  the  Iowa  war  chiefs,  ^Mahaska,  has  been  given  to  one  of  the  counties 
in  the  Des  Moines  valley,  embracing  a  portion  of  our  state  over  which  this 
once  powerful  tribe  held  domain. 

This  tribe  was  so  reduced  by  pestilence  and  war  that  it  ceased  to  play  an 
important  part  in  the  state's  history  after  1823. 

SACS   AND   FOXES 

The  Sacs  and  Foxes,  who  probably  held  the  most  prominent  place  in  the 
story  of  the  Algonquin  family  in  Iowa,  had  migrated  from  the  country  along 
the  Atlantic  coast  now  embraced  in  the  state  of  Rhode  Island.  They  moved 
along  the  valley  of  the  St.  Lawrence  river  and  thence  to  the  vicinity  of  Green 
bay,  where  they  were  found  by  Jean  Nicollet  in  1634.  It  is  reported,  that  in 
1667,  Claude  Allouez,  a  French  Jesuit,  found  on  the  Wolf  river  in  Wisconsin, 
a  village  of  ^lusquakies,  as  the  Sacs  and  Foxes  were  sometimes  called,  which 
contained  a  thousand  warriors  and  nearly  five  thousand  persons. 

These  Indians  appeared  to  realize  that  the  invasion  of  French  trappers  and 
missionaries  threatened  the  eventual  occupation  of  their  lands  by  the  whites, 
and  from  the  first  they  waged  war  against  the  intruders,  and  were  nearly  the 
only  tribe  with  whom  the  French  could  not  live  in  peace. 

About  1 712  the  Sacs  and  the  Foxes  became  close  allies.  Each  tribe,  however, 
reserved  the  right  to  make  war  or  peace,  without  the  consent  of  the  other.  The 
Foxes  had  villages  on  the  west  side  of  the  Mississippi,  while  the  Sacs  remained 
on  the  east  side.  The  Sacs  could  muster  about  three  hundred  warriors,  and  the 
Foxes  about  three  hundred  and  twenty.    The  Sacs  had  long  before  occupied  the 


32  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

region  about  Saginaw,  in  Michigan,  calling  it  Sauk-i-nong.  They  called  them- 
selves Saukies,  meaning  "man-\vith-a-red-badge."  Red  was  the  favorite  color 
used  by  them  in  personal  adornment,  and  it  is  said  that  the  Sac  covered  his 
head  with  red  clay  when  he  mourned.  The  Indian  name  of  the  Foxes  was 
Mus-qua-kies,  signifying  "man-with-a-yellow-badge."  The  French  gave  to  this 
tribe  the  name  Reynors  or  Foxes  because  of  their  thieving  habits.  The  river  in 
Wisconsin,  along  which  these  Indians  had  their  home,  was  called  by  the  French 
''Rio  Reynor."  When  the  English  obtained  the  country  from  France,  they  gave 
the  river  its  English  translation  Fox. 

The  Sac  village  on  Rock  river  was  one  of  the  oldest  in  the  upper  Mississippi 
valley.  Black  Hawk,  in  his  autobiography,  says  it  was  built  in  173 1.  It  was 
named  Saukenuk.  This  was  for  fifty  years  the  largest  village  of  the  Sacs,  and 
contained  in  1825  a  population  of  about  eight  thousand.  The  houses  were  sub- 
stantially built,  and  were  made  with  a  frame  of  poles  covered  with  sheathing 
of  elm  bark,  fastened  on  with  thongs  of  buckskin.  Half  a  mile  east  of  the  town 
is  a  bold  promontory  rising  two  hundred  feet  from  the  bed  of  Rock  river.  This 
was  known  as  "Black  Hawk's  Watch  Tower,"  and  was  a  favorite  resort  of  that 
great  Sac  chieftain.  Here  he  would  sit  smoking  his  pipe  and  enjoying  the  grand 
scenery  spread  out  before  him,  the  land  which  he  clung  to  and  fought  so 
desperately  to  hold. 

THE  WINNEBAGOES 


The  Winnebagoes,  too,  belonged  to  the  Dakota  group ;  and  are  mentioned 
by  the  French  writers  as  early  as  1669.  Early  in  the  seventeenth  century  the 
tribes  of  the  Northwest  formed  an  alliance  against  the  Winnebagoes,  and  in  a 
battle  five  hundred  of  the  latter  were  slain.  It  is  thought  that  they  and  the 
lowas  were  the  only  Dakotas  that  migrated  to  the  east.  After  meeting  the 
Algonquin  tribes  of  Pottawattamies,  Chippewas,  Sacs,  Foxes,  Mascoutines  and 
Ottawas,  they  finally  formed  an  alliance,  which  lasted  for  more  than  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty  years.  They  were  reluctant  to  come  under  English  rule,  after 
the  French  were  expelled ;  but  finally  became  reconciled,  and  fought  with  the 
British  through  the  American  Revolution.  In  18 16,  they  entered  into  a  treaty 
of  peace  with  the  United  States;  but  in  1832  they  joined  Black  Hawk  in  his 
war;  and  at  its  termination  were  required  to  relinquish  their  lands  in  Wisconsin 
in  exchange  for  a  tract  in  Iowa  known  as  the  "Neutral  Ground."  They  were 
not,  however,  compelled  to  remove  to  their  new  home  until  1841.  By  the  terms 
of  the  treaty  the  Winnebagoes  were  to  be  paid  $10,000  annually  for  twenty-seven 
years,  beginning  in  1833.  The  government  agreed  also  to  supply  them  with 
certain  farm  implements  and  teams,  to  establish  schools  for  the  Indian  children 
and  to  maintain  these  schools  for  twenty-seven  years.  The  Winnebagoes  dis- 
liked to  go  to  the  "Neutral  Ground,"  because  on  the  south  were  the  Sacs  and 
Foxes,  and  on  the  north  were  the  hostile  Sioux.  However,  they  grew  to  love 
the  Iowa  reservation;  and  after  they  had  removed  to  Minnesota  in  1846,  they 
often  returned  to  hunt  and  fish  along  the  Iowa  rivers. 


§ 

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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  .        33 

THE  SIOUX 

Of  the  three  great  Indian  nations,  occupying  the  upper  Mississippi  valley  in 
the  sixteenth  century,  the  most  powerful  and  populous  was  the  Dakota  nation. 
They  were  nomadic,  wandering  northward  to  latitude  55  degrees  in  the  Rocky 
mountains,  and  eastward  to  the  shores  of  Green  bay.  Thus  it  will  be  seen  that 
this  great  Indian  nation  early  in  the  sixteenth  century  occupied  a  large  portion 
of  British  America,  Montana,  Wyoming,  the  Dakotas,  more  than  half  of  Iowa, 
Missouri,  Arkansas,  Kansas  and  Nebraska,  the  greater  part  of  Minnesota,  and 
the  north  half  of  Wisconsin. 

The  Sioux,  who  belonged  to  the  Dakota  nation,  were  first  known  to  the 
French  in  1640.  In  1680,  w^hen  Hennepin  was  sent  to  explore  the  valley  of  the 
upper  Mississippi  and  was  encamped  with  his  party  on  the  bank  of  one  of  the 
tributaries  of  the  river,  he  was  captured  by  a  band  of  Sioux.  They  took  him 
with  them  in  their  wanderings  over  Minnesota,  from  April  until  September, 
when  he  and  his  companions  were  rescued  by  Greysolon  Du  Luth. 

When  the  French  took  possession  of  that  country  in  1685,  the  Dakotas 
were  divided  into  seven  eastern  and  nine  western  tribes.  During  the  wars  be- 
tween the  French  and  the  Indians,  the  Sioux  were  forced  southward  into  north- 
ern Iowa  about  the  head  waters  of  the  Des  Moines  river  and  Okoboji  and 
Spirit  lakes. 

When  in  1804,  Lewis  and  Clark  explored  along  the  Missouri  valley,  the 
Yankton  division  of  the  Sioux  occupied  the  country  along  the  .upper  Des  Moines 
and  Little  Sioux  valleys  and  about  the  group  of  lakes  in  northern  low^a  and 
southern  ^Minnesota.  While  roaming  about  in  these  regions  they  had  named 
the  rivers  and  lakes.  Their  principal  villages  were  along  the  shores  of  Okoboji 
and  Spirit  Lake.  Their  name  for  the  latter  was  Minne-Mecoehe-Waukon,  mean- 
ing "Lake  of  the  Spirits."  It  was  so  named  according  to  a  tradition  among  the 
Sioux,  because  a  very  long  time  ago  there  was  an  island  in  the  lake,  that  the 
first  Indians  who  sailed  to  it  in  their  canoes,  were  seized  and  drowned  by  demons. 
No  Indian  again  ventured  near  its  shores  and  it  finally  disappeared  beneath  the 
waters.  Lizard  creek  they  called,  "Was-sa-ka-pom-pa,"  the  river  with  lizards. 
The  propriety  of  this  name  appears  at  once,  when  one  views  the  many  wind- 
ings' of  the  little  stream,  like  the  tortuous  trail  of  a  lizard.  The  Des  Moines 
river  was  originally  named  "Moingonan"  by  the  Algonquins,  "Moingona"  by 
Charlevoix,  and  "Eah-sha-wa-pa-ta"  or  "Red  Stone"  river  by  the  Sioux, 

In  1805,  Lieutenant  Pike  estimated  the  number  of  Sioux  at  more  than 
twenty-one  thousand.  One  of  their  most  noted  chiefs  in  the  first  half  of  the 
nineteenth  century  was  Wa-na-ta  of  the  Yanktons.  When  but  eighteen  years 
old,  he  distinguished  himself  in  the  War  of  1812,  fighting  with  his  tribe  for 
the  British  at  the  battle  of  Sandusky.  He  was  instrumental  in  organizing  a 
union  of  all  of  the  Sioux  tribes  and  became  the  chief  ot  the  confederacy  of 
Sioux,  often  leading  them  in  battle  against  the  lowas  and  Chippewas.  The 
Sioux  were  always  more  or  less  hostile  to  the  Americans,  and  were  only  re- 
strained from  open  hostilities  by  the  fear  of  troops  stationed  in  the  frontier  forts. 
They  were  enemies  of  the  Sac  and  Fox  tribes. 

"Si-dom-i-na-do-tah,"  or  "Two  Fingers"  was  the  head  of  a  band  of  renegade 


34  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Sioux,  that  hunted  and  fished  along  the  upper  Des  Aloines  valley.  He  belonged 
to  the  Sisseton  tribe  or  clan.  He  was  short  of  stature  and  of  a  squatty  build, 
while  his  features  were  coarse  and  irregular.  His  name  was  due  to  the  fact 
that  on  one  hand  he  had  but  two  fingers.  Through  petty  thieving  and  plunder 
he  and  his  band  caused  the  early  settlers  of  Webster  county  much  annoyance. 
His  first  followers  were  four  or  five  desperadoes  who  had  been  exiled  from  their 
own  people.     Then  other  joined  them,  until  the  party  contained  five  hundred. 

Major  Williams,  in  his  reminscences  of  pioneer  days,  mentions  the  fact,  that 
with  Sidominadotah's  band  there  was  a  very  stout  negro,  who  was  always 
reported  as  the  most  insolent  and  daring  of  the  band.  He  also  says,  "Every 
efifort  was  made  to  catch  him,  but  he  always  managed  to  keep  out  of  the  way. 
Whenever  any  outrage  was  committed,  we  could  always  hear  of  him,  but  could 
never  catch  him.  He  still  remains  one  of  the  mysteries  of  the  pioneer  days  of 
northern  Iowa."  This  band  of  Sioux  increased  their  number  very  much  by 
gathering  in  renegades  and  allies  from  other  bands  of  Sioux  to  aid  them  in 
fighting  and  pillaging  their  common  enemies,  the  Sacs  and  Foxes  and  Pottawat- 
tamies. 

The  Sioux  Indians  would  make  expeditions,  and  invade  the  territory  of  the 
Pottawattamies,  who  inhabited  the  southern  part  of  the  state,  and  in  turn  the 
Pottawattamies  would  attack  the  Sioux.  These  two  tribes  fought  two  desperate 
battles  in  the  vicinity  of  Fort  Dodge.  One  was  fought  near  Twin  Lakes  in  Cal- 
houn county  and  the  other  on  the  South  Lizard,  near  McLaughlin's  Grove  in 
Webster  county.  The  Sioux  were  victorious  in  both.  These  were  the  last 
Indian  battles  in  Iowa,  as  the  various  tribes  soon  after  left  for  their  western 
reservations.  The  Sioux  were  the  most  warlike  and  treacherous  of  all  the 
tribes,  which  at  any  time  had  homes  in  Iowa.  It  was  a  band  of  this  tribe,  who 
massacred  nearly  the  entire  settlement  at  Spirit  Lake  and  Okoboji  in  March, 
1857;  and  in  1862,  murdered  nearly  two  thousand  people  in  Minnesota. 

One  of  the  two  Indian  names,  retained  in  Webster  county,  is  that  of  Wah- 
konsa.  It  is  the  name  of  a  township  and  of  various  societies  and  organizations. 
The  pioneer  inn  bore  this  name,  as  does  also  the  present  fine  hotel.  One  of  the 
early  societies,  the  "Wahkonsa  Library  Club,"  organized  in  1859,  bore  this 
name.  Mr.  George  W.  Brizee,  at  one  time  editor  of  the  Fort  Dodge  Sentinel, 
says  that  Major  Williams  told  him  that  Wahkonsa  was  the  son  of  Umpashota 
(Smoky  Day),  that  he  was  very  intelligent  and  useful  to  the  first  settlers;  that 
he  would  map  out  the  whole  country  northwest  of  the  fort,  in  the  sand  or  dirt, 
with  a  stick.  Those  who  best  knew  Ink-a-pa-do-ta,  say  he  had  but  one  son, — - 
a  short  stout  Indian,  who  was  presumed  to  be  above  twenty-two  years  old  at 
the  time  of  the  massacre  at  Spirit  Lake.  His  name  was  Com-a-do-ca,  and  he 
was  killed  near  Fort  Ridgley,  Minnesota,  during  the  summer  of  1857.  He  died 
fighting.  When  the  massacre  at  Spirit  Lake  occurred,  Wahkonsa  went  to  Fort 
Ridgley  and  delivered  himself  up,  a  thing  very  unlikely  for  him  to  do  if  he  had 
been  Ink-a-pa-do-ta's  son.  Mrs.  Marble,  in  an  interview  with  Mr.  Brizee,  soon 
after  her  release  from  captivity,  declared  most  emphatically,  that  Ink-a-pa-do-ta 
had  but  one  son  in  the  band,  and  that  son  was  Com-a-do-ca.  During  the  winter 
of  1854-55,  Wahkonsa  and  his  sister  accompanied  by  others  of  their  tribe  visited 
Fort  Dodge  and  at  night  slept  on  the  ground  floor  of  the  old  hotel,  which  bore 


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> 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  85 

the  name  of  the  young  chief.  In  the  morning,  Cyrus  C.  Carpenter,  than  a  young 
surveyor  and  school  teacher  came  into  the  office,  and  immediately  the  Indian 
belle  broke  out  into  laughter.  Those  present  tried  to  ascertain  the  cause  of  her 
mirth.  For  answer,  she  pointed  at  the  head  of  Iowa's  future  governor,  and 
exclaimed:  "Hedgehog!  Hedgehog!"  Mr.  Carpenter  at  the  time  wore  his 
hair  quite  short,  and  it  stood  pompadour  over  the  entire  top  of  his  head.  It 
was  this  that  had  provoked  her  laughter  and  caused  the  not  entirely  compli- 
mentary comparison.  Governor  Carpenter  enjoyed  the  laugh,  however,  with 
the  rest  of  the  crowd.  Wahkonsa  was  a  handsome  and  attractive  young  Indian, 
and  was  always  'kindly  disposed  towards  the  whites.  He  was  a  very  close  friend 
of  Mr.  Tames  B.  Williams,  who  was  of  about  same  age.  Mr.  Williams  is 
quoted  as  saying,  that  the  name  Wahkonsa  meant  "fleet-of-foot."  Fulton  in  his 
"Red  Men  of  Iowa"  however,  gives  the  meaning  as  "One-Who-Will-Be-Heard- 
From." 

HOW  THE  INDIANS  LOST   JOWA 

For  many  years  the  flood  of  immigrants  that  followed  the  Ohio  valley  were 
prevented  from  occupying  Iowa  soil  because  of  the  reverence  of  the  Indians 
for  the  "Father  of  Waters."  As  early  as  1804  the.  Sacs  and  Foxes  ceded  to 
the  United  States  their  land  east  of  the  ^Mississippi,  but  it  was  not  until  after 
the  defeat  of  Black  Hawk  in  1832,  that  the  most  desirable  portion  of  Iowa  came 
into  the  possession  of  the  United  States.  After  the  Black  Hawk  Purchase 
was  acquired  by  the  government,  for  use  by  the  settlers,  not  many  years  passed 
before  the  Indians  had  lost  every  acre  of  the  woodlands,  hills  and  prairies  they 
had  once  owned. 

The  transfers  of  land  were  made  through  treaties,  agreed  upon  at  council 
meetings,  at  which  were  representatives  of  the  United  States  and  of  the  Indian 
tribes  interested.  The  government  paid  for  the  territory,  and  the  amount  and 
all  other  details  were  put  in  writing. 

It  is  likely  that  in  many  cases  the  promises  made  by  the  whites  were  not 
carried  out  and  the  redmen  were  defrauded  as  a  result  of  the  shrewdness  of 
the  whites.  The  Indians  were  partly  to  blame  for  any  cheating,  however,  because 
whisky  proved  too  fascinating,  and  the  price  of  many  an  acre  of  land  was  paid  in 
this  commodity. 

The  exact  amount  paid  the  Indians  for  the  lands  of  Iowa  cannot  be  deter- 
mined. The  treaties  state  the  purchase  price  in  terms  of  money,  annuities,  mer- 
chandise and  domestic  animals.  Upon  the  merchandise  it  is  impossible  to  fix 
a  value  at  the  present  time.  Sometimes  the  government  promised  to  lay  out 
farms,  establish  shops,  and  bear  the  expenses  of  removal  to  new  reservations. 
Another  element  of  uncertainty  lies  in  the  overlapping  areas  of  some  of  the 
cessions  and  the  extension  of  several  tracts  beyond  the  present  confines  of  the 
state. 

Owing  to  the  murderous  warfare  kept  up  between  the  Sac  and  Fox  tribes 
and  the  Sioux,  the  government  interfered  in  1825,  and  arranged  for  a  confer- 
ence at  Prairie  du  Chien.  Here  the  chiefs  representing  their  respective  tribes 
assembled,  all  arrayed  in  paint  and  feathers  and  each  trying  to  outdo  the  others. 
A  boundary  line,  to  which  all  agreed,  was  fixed.     The  hunting  grounds  of  the 


36  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Sioux  were  to  be  north  of  a  line  passing  from  the  mouth  of  the  upper  Iowa 
river  through  the  upper  fork  of  the  Des  Moines  river  to  the  fork  of  the  Big 
Sioux  and  down  the  Big  Sioux  to  the  Missouri.  The  Sacs  and  Foxes  were  to 
hunt  south  of  this  Hne.  Permission  was  given  to*the  lowas  and  the  Otoes,  both 
of  the  Dakota  family  to  live  in  this  territory  with  them. 

The  Indians  did  not,  however,  recognize  these  boundary  lines,  w'hen  send- 
ing out  hunting  parties,  and  in  1830  the  United  States  government  established 
the  so-called  Neutral  Strip.  At  the  same  time,  the  tribes  of  the  Sacs  and  Foxes, 
ceded  to  the  United  States  that  portion  of  the  territory  lying  west  of  the  water- 
shed dividing  the  Missouri  and  Des  Moines  rivers,  eastward  to  the  Neutral 
Strip,  northward  to  the  present  state  of  Minnesota,  and  westward  to  the  Alis- 
souri  river,  with  the  exception  of  a  portion  of  Lyon  county  which  the  Sioux 
were  to  possess.  This  vast  tract  of  land  was  granted  with  the  understanding, 
that  it  should  be  used  for  Indian  purposes.  The  Neutral  Strip  might  be  hunted 
upon  by  either  of  the  tribal  parties,  and  the  United  States  was  at  liberty  to 
settle,  upon  any  of  the  lands  acquired  at  this  date,  such  other  tribes  as  it  might 
see  fit.  In  accordance  with  this,  the  Winnebagoes,  after  selling  their  land  east 
of  the  Mississippi,  were  settled  upon  that  portion  of  the  Neutral  Strip  to  the 
east  of  the  Cedar  river  in  its  course  through  Butler  and  Floyd  counties,  and  the 
Pottawattamies,  were  given  5,000,000  acres  in  the  southwestern  part  of  Iowa. 

Then  followed  the  Black  Hawk  Purchase,  which  went  into  effect  June  i, 
1833.  The  noted  warrior  Black  Hawk  had  vigorously  refused  to  recognize  the 
treaty  of  1804,  and  although  in  1816  he  "touched  the  goose  quill,"  as  he  expressed 
it,  to  the  instrument  affirming  the  treaty,  his  reluctance  to  give  up  the  land  in 
cjuestion  led  to  the  conflict  of  1832.  He  was.  however,  defeated  and  compelled 
to  sell  the  land  now  known  as  the  Black  Hawk  Purchase.  This  was  a  tract 
about  fifty  miles  in  width,  extending  along  the  Mississippi  river  from  the  Neu- 
tral Strip  to  the  Missouri  line,  w^ith  the  exception  of  the  Keokuk  Reserve  of 
four  hundred  square  miles  along  the  Iowa  river  in  Louisa  county.  Thus  the 
government  secured  the  eastern  portion  of  the  state,  with  the  exception  of  a 
small  tract  lying  between  the  Des  Moines  and  Mississippi  rivers  and  south  of  a 
line  drawn  west  from  Fort  Madison,  reserved  under  the  treaty  of  1825,  for 
the  half  breeds  of  the  Sacs  and  Foxes  of  ^Missouri  and  known  as  the  Half  Breed 
Tract.  As  a  result  of  the  Black  Hawk  Purchase,  immigration  to  Iowa  was 
greatly  increased.  The  fame  of  her  beautiful  valleys,  groves  and  rivers,  her 
fertile  prairies  and  rich  soil  had  reached  the  distant  east.  Thousands  of  people 
were  impatiently  waiting  for  the  removal  of  the  red  men  from  such  a  land  of 
promise.  White  top  emigrant  wagons  quickly  sought  the  paths,  and  homeseekers 
soon  crowded  in  searching  for  the  best  timber  and  farm  locations. 

In  1836  the  four  hundred  square  acres  reserved  for  the  Sacs  and  Foxes  was 
secured  by  the  whites;  and  by  a  treaty  made  in  October,  1837,  the  two  tribes 
were  induced  to  part  with  a  tract  adjoining  the  Black  Hawk  Purchase  on  the 
west.  Still  the  whites  wanted  more  land,  and  finally  in  1842,  the  confederated 
tribes  of  the  Sacs  and  Foxes  ceded  to  the  United  States  all  other  land  east  of 
the  Missouri.  They  fiu-ther  agreed  to  move  west  of  the  Missouri,  wnthin  three 
years  from  the  ratification  of  the  treaty.  The  remaining  rights  of  the  Indians 
to  the  state  were  relinquished,  when  the  Winnebagoes  in   1846,  ceded  their  in- 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  37 

terest  in  the  Neutral  Strip;  and  the  Sioux,  in  1851,  gave  up  the  northern  portion 
of  the  state. 

It  is  estimated  that  the  state  of  Iowa  cost  the  United  States  government  to 
extinguish  the  Indian  title  approximately  $2,377,547.87,  a  little  over  eight  cents 
an  acre. 


CHAPTER  V 
THE  LOUISIANA  PURCHASE  AND  TERRITORIAL  IOWA 

It  was  over  a  hundred  years  from  the  time  that  the  -black  robed  missionaries, 
Marquette  and  Johet,  first  found  "the  way  to  Iowa,"  until  the  first  white  man 
made  a  settlement  within  its  borders.  During  the  time  it  was  a  French  posses- 
sion, Iowa  remained  a  savage  wilderness.  A  few  names,  as  that  of  the  Des 
Moines  river  and  Tete  des  Morts  in  Dubuque  county,  are  the  only  marks  left 
of  the  French  rule.    During  all  this  time  no  grant  of  land  was  made.     - 

Louis  XIV,  in  whose  honor  Louisiana  was  named,  cherished  great  hopes 
for  the  prosperity  of  his  American  possessions.  He  gave  them  much  personal 
attention.  No  English  sovereign  ever  took  such  interest  in  the  English  colonies 
as  this  French  king  did  in  his.  But  the  upper  part  of  the  Louisiana  territory 
seemed  a  hard  field  to  colonize.  In  1699  D'Iberville,  a  distinguished  French 
naval  officer,  and  his  brother  Bienville  founded  a  prosperous  colony  near 
the  present  site  of  New  Orleans.  In  1764  St.  Louis  was  platted  and  named 
for  Louis  XV.  During  the  time  that  Iowa  was  under  French  dominion,  no 
town  was  laid  out  within  its  territory  or  permanent  colony  established. 
The  difficulties  of  colonization,  as  they  appeared  at  that  time,  were  described 
by  the  French  writer  Du  Pratz,  who  in  his  history  of  Louisiana,  published  in 
1763,  says:  "many  ages  must  pass  before  we  can  penetrate  into  the  northern 
part  of  Louisiana." 

During  much  of  this  time,  France,  England  and  Spain  were  at  war  with 
each  other.  There  was  a  continual  jealousy  over  their  respective  possessions. 
From  1754  to  1763,  the  French  and  Indian  war  raged.  The  fall  of  Quebec 
closed  the  long  series  of  struggles  between  France  and  England  for  supremacy 
in  America.  France  was  humiliated.  She  lost  Canada  and  the  territory  east  of 
the  Mississippi.  By  the  treaty  of  Paris  in  1763,  England  secured  all  the  French 
territory  east  of  the  Mississippi,  except  a  region  east  of  New  Orleans.  A  year 
previous,  Louis  XV,  a  corrupt  great-grandson  of  Louis  XltV,  had  ceded  by 
secret  treaty  the  territory  of  Louisiana  lying  west  of  the  Mississippi,  to  its 
remotest  tributaries,  including  Iowa,  and  all  north  of  the  source  of  the  river, 
to  Charles  III  of  Spain,  another  great-grandson  of  Louis  XIV,  but  a  man  of 
strong  character.  Louis  XV  gave  as  his  reason  for  ceding  this  territory  to  Spain, 
the  afifection  and  friendship  existing  between  these  two  royal  persons.  The 
truth  of  the  matter  was  that  Louis  XV  was  in  dire  straits,  and  France  was 
heavily  in  debt  to  Spain  for  the  assistance  given  during  the  French  and  Indian 
war. 

The  colonists  at  New  Orleans  were  exasperated  over  the  king's  disgraceful 
act,  and  pleaded  with  him  to  retract.   It  is  said  that  Bienville,  one  of  the  founders 

39 


40  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

of  the  colony,  then  an  old  man  living  in  Paris,  went  to  the  prime  minister,  and 
upon  bended  knees,  with  tears  streaming  down  his  cheek,  begged  that  the  king 
reconsider.  But  it  availed  nothing,  for  this  was  the  answer:  "I'he  colony  can- 
not continue  its  precarious  existence  without  an  enormous  expense,  of  which 
France  is  incapable.  Is  it  not  better  that  Louisiana  should  be  given  awav  to  a 
friend  than  be  wrested  from  us  by  a  hereditary  foe?" 

The  French  colonists  did  not  take  kindly  to  either  the  British  or  the  Spanish 
rule.  The  French  population  of  the  Illinois  country,  at  the  time  it  passed  under 
English  rule  was  about  five  thousand.  Nearly  one-half  of  this  number  refused 
to  become  British  subjects,  and  to  escape  it  moved  to  the  west  side  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi. At  New  Orleans  the  Acadians  and  Creoles  refused  to  subject  them- 
selves to  Spanish  authority,  and  drove  the  officials  sent  to  rule  them  from  tiie 
country.  It  was  not  until  1768  that  the  western  portion  was  brought  under 
Spanish  subjection.  In  that  year.  Governor  Don  O'Reilly,  the  new  Spanish 
ruler,  landed  at  New  Orleans,  suppressed  the  insurrection  and  inaugurated  Span- 
ish rule.  No  representative  of  Spain,  however,  came  to  upper  Louisiana  until 
1769  when  a  captain  arrived  at  St.  Louis  with  twenty-five  soldiers.  By  uni- 
versal consent  the  last  French  commandant,  a  man  highly  respected  and  of  fine 
character,  remained  in  authority.  The  Spanish  Lieutenant-Governor,  Don  Pedro 
Piernas,  arrived  and  took  formal  possession  of  the  province  May  10,  1770.  Thus 
what  is  now  Iowa  came  under  Spanish  rule. 

From  the  first,  the  navigation  of  the  Alississippi  river  was  a  bone  of  con- 
tention. At  the  close  of  the  revolution  in  1783,  England  recognized  the  Alis- 
sissippi  as  the  west  boundary  of  the  United  States.  Spain  had  been  friendly 
to  the  colonies  during  the  revolution,  and  had  aided  them  in  many  ways.  With 
the  coming  of  peace,  however,  it  soon  became  evident  that  as  the  price  for  these 
courtesies,  Spain  aimed  at  gaining  a  large  portion  of  the  land  just  east  of  the 
Mississippi.  Therefore  she  guarded  the  navigation  of  the  Mississippi  jealously 
and  felt  that  to  allow  the  free  navigation  of  the  Mississippi  was  to  lose  her 
vantage  ground;  and  might  even  ultimately  cause  her  to  lose  her  possessions 
on  the  west  side  of  the  river.  On  the  other  hand  the  free  navigation  of  the 
river  to  its  mouth  became  of  vital  importance  to  the  United  States.  It  was 
the  only  commercial  outlet  for  her  western  territory.  Finally  Spain  closed  the 
river,  and  vowed  that  she  would  keep  it  closed,  until  she  secured  a  more  satis- 
factory boundary  line  for  her  possessions,  in  the  south.  A  Kentucky  flatboat- 
man,  disregarding  the  Spanish  decree,  started  boldly  down  the  river  with  a  lot 
of  hardware.  The  Spanish  authorities  at  Natchez  stopped  him,  seized  his  boat 
and  cargo,  and  left  him  to  get  back  home  on  foot  through  the  forest  as  best  he 
could.  The  impetuous  spirit  of  the  Kentucky  settlers  was  aroused.  They  swore 
that  if  the  Spaniards  did  not  open  the  river  to  them,  they  would  raise  an  army 
of  backwoods  men,  open  it  by  force  and  drive  the  Spaniards  into  the  sea.  So 
intense  was  the  feeling,  that  a  small  sized  revolution  in  the  western  part  of  the 
United  States  was  almost  brought  on  by  John  Jay's  proposed  treaty  with  Spain 
in  1786.  As  the  American  minister  to  Spain,  he  had  failed  to  secure  any  con- 
cessions as  to  the  free  navigation  of  the  Mississippi,  and  had  almost  consented 
that  the  United  States  should  waive  this  right  for  twenty  years,  if  Spain  would 
concede  it  at  the  expiration  of  that  period.    This  proposition  set  the  whole  west- 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  41 

ern  country  in  a  blaze.  The  settlers  in  the  upper  valley  determined  to  take  things 
in  their  own  hands,  and  enforce  their  right,  unless  the  government  would  do 
something  for  them.  They  proposed  to  organize  an  army,  seize  the  Spanish 
forts,  capture  New  Orleans,  and  compel  Spain  to  yield  the  free  navigation  of 
the  river.  The  Spanish  governor  finally  realized  that  some  concession  must 
be  made.  Even  the  thought  of  the  backwoods  men  with  their  rifles,  struck  terror 
to  the  hearts  of  the  Spaniards.  As  a  compromise,  he  therefore  granted  the 
privilege  of  free  navigation  to  James  Wilkinson  and  certain  other  American 
traders  in  tobacco,  flour  and  other  products. 

In  1788  after  fruitless  negotiation  with  Spain,  congress  declared,  "that  the 
free  navigation  of  the  Mississippi  river  is  a  clear  and  essential  right  of  the 
United  States,  and  that  it  ought  to  be  enforced."  Congress  and  V\'ashington 
began  to  prepare  for  the  conflict  which  seemed  to  be  at  hand.  Spain  still  delayed. 
The  W^hiskey  Rebellion  in  Pennsylvania  and  an  Indian  war  in  the  west  gave 
Spain  courage  to  put  off  the  day  of  concession.  Finally  the  American  minister 
at  Madrid  proposed  to  the  Spanish  government,  "that  if  Spain  would  cede  the 
United  States  her  possessions  east  of  the  Mississippi  river,  that  the  United 
States  would  make  no  claims  to  the  territory  west  of  the  river,  as  her  real  inter- 
est would  then  require  that  Spain  should  retain  her  possessions  west  of  it. 
Since  the  free  navigation  of  the  riyer  was  of  such  absolute  necessit\-  to  the 
United  States,  it  must  sooner  or  later  be  conceded."  The  minister  said:  "this 
is  the  decree  of  Providence,  written  on  every  map  of  the  continent,  and  it  can- 
not be  prevented  by  any  agency.  Would  it  not  be  the  part  of  wisdom  to  anticipate 
an  irresistible  event  peaceably  and  cement  a  lasting  friendship  with  the  United 
States  on  the  basis  of  mutual  interest  and  benefits."  But  for  twelve  years  the 
matter  hung  fire.  Spain  realized  that  in  granting  the  free  navigation  of  the 
river,  she  was  giving  up  the  only  means  of  checking  the  onward  march  of  the 
American  pioneer,  who  was  only  too  anxious  to  wrest  away  all  of  her  western 
territory.  Reuben  Gold  Thwaites  says,  "a  river  is  no  adequate  boundary  be- 
tween nations,  if  on  one  bank  be  a  people  feverish  to  cross,  and  on  the  other  a 
lethargic  folk.  The  valley  itself  is  a  geographical  unit."  Already  the  Americans 
had  settled  the  eastern  part  of  the  valley  in  numbers  sufficient  to  dominate. 
Many  had  not  waited  for  a  change  in  political  ownership  before  crossing  to  the 
western  part.  Spain  had  now  become  deeply  involved  in  the  Napoleonic  wars. 
She  feared  an  invasion  of  her  American  territory  from  the  long  suffering  pioneers 
of  the  western  part  of  the  United  States.  Spain  finally  sought  a  settlement, 
and  by  a  treaty  made,  October  20,  1795,  the  middle  of  the  Mississippi  river  was 
made  the  western  boundary  of  the  United  States,  from  the  thirty-first  degree  of 
latitude  to  its  source,  and  navigation  to  be  free  to  its  mouth. 

The  French  had  never  become  fully  reconciled  to  the  loss  of  their  Ameri- 
can possessions.  Napoleon,  therefore,  resolved  to  restore  Louisiana  to  France. 
vSpain,  weakened  and  heavily  in  debt,  was  easily  induced  to  recede  the  territory 
of  Louisiana  to  France.  The  treaty  ratifying  this  agreement  was  made  October 
I,  1801.  But  before  France  could  take  possession  of  the  province,  the  political 
chess  board  of  Europe  had  again  changed.  The  power  of  Napoleon  had  begun 
to  weaken.  The  armies  of  England  and  her  allies  were  pressing  hard.  He  was 
fearful  that  his  arch  enemy  might  seize  his  American  possessions.     He  needed 


42  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

money  to  replenish  his  treasury.  There  had  always  been  a  natural  friendship 
between  France  and  the  Young  Republic.  Napoleon  felt  that  he  would  rather 
give  Louisiana  to  a  friendly  power  than  have  it  go  to  the  hereditary  foe  of  the 
French.  He  foresaw  that  the  only  way  to  checkmate  England's  power  in  America 
was  to  allow  the  United  States  to  expand  its  boundaries.  Accordingly  confiden- 
tial negotiations  were  opened  with  the  American  minister  to  France,  Robert  R. 
Livingston.  The  scheme  was  at  once  communicated  to  President  Jefferson  who 
was  quick  to  grasp  the  opportunity.  James  Monroe  was  sent  to  aid  in  the 
negotiations  but  before  his  arrival,  Livingston  had  practically  "made  the  bargain." 

Even  before  Napoleon  offered  Louisiana  to  the  United  States,  the  question 
of  ownership  of  Louisiana  had  been  of  deep  concern  to  American  statesmen. 
In  1790  Jeff'erson  wrote  to  President  Washington  "of  the  magnitude  of  the 
danger  which  will  attend  our  government  if  Louisiana  and  the  Floridas  be 
added  to  the  British  Empire."  The  United  States  really  disliked  the.  idea,  of 
having  France  for  a  neighbor  on  the  west,  as  much  as  Spain.  In  fact  the  time 
had  come  when  they  desired  New  Orleans,  the  key  to  the  whole  situation,  for 
themselves.  But  Napoleon  would  not  sell  New  Orleans  without  the  rest  of  the 
province.  Livingston  and  IMonroe  were  without  instructions  from  President 
Jefferson  as  to  the  country  west  of  the  Mississippi.  But  they  accepted  the  oft'er 
and  made  the  purchase.  The  treaty  of  cession  was  signed  x\pril  30,  1803.  Iowa 
for  the  last  time  changed  ownership.  Hitherto  her  existence  had  been  under 
two  flags.  Henceforth  she  was  to  have  but  one,  "the  Flag  of  the  Free."  Napo- 
leon said  concerning  the  treaty,  "you  asked  me  for  a  city,  I  have  given  you  an 
empire." 

The  treaty  came  before  the  senate  for  ratification.  Constitutional  objections 
were  made.  But  the  national  and  commercial  benefits  were  soon  seen,  and 
opposition  disappeared.  Probably  the  letter  written  by  Livingston  to  Madison, 
June  25,  1803,  hastened  the  action  of  congress.  In  this  letter  he  says,  "I  hope 
nothing  will  prevent  your  immediate  ratification  without  altering  a  syllable  of 
the  terms.  Be  persuaded  that  France  is  sick  of  the  bargain,  that  Spain  is  much 
dissatisfied,  and  that  the  slightest  pretense  will  lose  you  the  treaty."  Congress 
ratified  the  treaty  the  19th  of  October.  President  Jeff'erson  was  authorized  to 
take  possession  and  occupy  the  "promised  land,"  October  31,  1803.  Salter  says: 
"The  triumphs  of  diplomacy  are  more  honorable  than  those  of  war.  The  peace- 
makers are  of  superior  dignity  to  the  war-makers.  It  is  note-worthy  that  the 
author  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence  was  the  director  of  the  Louisiana 
Purchase,  and  that  Livingston,  the  chief  agent  in  making  the  treaty,  was  one  of 
the  committee  to  draw  up  the  Declaration.  Their  fame  was  as  statesmen,  not  as 
soldiers.     Monroe  had  a  similar  honor." 

In  the  extent  of  the  purchase,  Jefferson  saw,  "a  widespread  field  for  free- 
dom and  equal  laws."  After  signing  the  treaty  Livingston  rose  and  shook  hands 
with  Monroe  and  with  Marbois,  the  French  Minister  of  Finance,  and  said,  "we 
have  lived  long  but  this  is  the  noblest  work  of  our  li\es.  This  treaty  will  change 
vast  solitudes  into  flourishing  districts,  and  prepare  ages  of  happiness  for  innu- 
merable generations."  Jefferson  wrote  to  Livingston  that  he  was  well  pleased, 
that  the  negotiations  were  conducted  with  a  frankess  and  a  sincerity  honorable 
to  both  nations  and  comfortable  to  a  man  of  honest  heart  to  review.     In  writ- 


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ing  to  Livingston  he  called  the  transaction  "your  treaty"  giving  him  full  credit 
for  his  part  in  it. 

Even  with  their  Yankee  shrewdness,  the  United  States  little  dreamed  of  the 
bargain  they  were  making.  In  fact  none  of  the  previous  owners  of  Louisiana 
had  ever  appreciated  its  worth.  The  purchase  price  $15,000,000  at  that  time 
seemed  a  huge  sum.  Some  said  it  would  make  such  a  large  national  debt 
that  it  could  never  be  paid.  The  national  debt  is  now  a  billion  and  a  quarter 
dollars,  and  yet  it  causes  no  particular  concern.  Today  \\'ebster  county  less 
than  a  thousandth  part  of  the  Louisiana  territory  could  not  be  bought  for  its 
purchase  price.  Today  less  than  a  century  from  that  time,  one  American  citizen 
has  in  his  life  time  made  from  the  raw  resources  of  this  land  a  fortune  of  over 
$265,000,000. 

During  the  forty  years  that  Spain  owned  Iowa,  there  were  but  three  grants 
of  land  within  its  territory.  In  1788,  Julien  Dubuque,  a  French  Canadian, 
secured  a  permit  from  the  Fox  Chiefs  to  work  the  lead  mines  in  a  tract  extend- 
ing along  the  Mississippi  river,  from  the  mouth  of  the  Little  Alaquoketa  to  the 
Tete  des  Morts.  These  lead  mines  had  been  discovered  in  1780  by  the  wife  of 
Peosta,  a  prominent  Fox  Chief.  Dubuque  brought  from  Prairie  du  Chien  ten 
Canadians  to  assist  him  as  smelters,  wood  choppers  and  boatmen.  A  smelting 
furnace  was  erected  on  a  point  of  land  now  known  as  Dubuque  Bluff.  At  that 
time  there  was  a  Fox  village  called  Kettle  Chief  on  the  present  site  of  Dubuque. 
Since  Dubuque  and  most  of  his  companions  had  taken  squaw  wives,  the  Indians 
allowed  them  to  live  in  this  village.  Many  of  the  old  men  and  women  of  the 
tribe  worked  in  the  mines.  Dubuque  built  up  a  good  trade  in  lead  with  the 
merchants  of  St.  Louis,  and  in  furs  with  the  dift'erent  tribes.^  It  was  a  rule  of 
Spain  that  none  but  Spaniards  could  hold  mines  so  he  became  a  Spaniard  and 
named  his  mines  "Spanish  Mines."  Dubuque  representing  to  Carondelet,  the 
governor  of  Louisiana,  that  he  had  bought  the  land  from  the  Indians,  secured 
a  grant  in  1796.  The  truth  was  that  Dubuque  had  never  bought  the  land,  but 
had  secured  only  a  permit  from  the  Indians  to  work  the  mines.  Dubuque  was 
not  a  successful  business  man  and  he  became  heavily  in  debt  to  Auguste  Chou- 
teau a  prominent  merchant  of  St.  Louis.  In  settlement  of  this  indebtedness 
Dubuque  conveyed  to  Chouteau  an  undivided  seven-sixteenths  interest  of  his 
land  estimated  to  consist  of  73,324  acres.  It  was  also  provided  that  at  the  death 
of  Dubuque  the  remainder  should  become  the  property  of  Chouteau  or  his  heirs. 
In  1805  Dubuque  and  Chouteau  filed  a  claim  with  the  United  States  asking  to 
have  t'leir  title  confirmed  to  all  of  the  land  which  Dubuque  had  originally  leased 
of  the  Indians.  For  nearly  fifty  years  thjs  claim  was  pending  in  various  tribu- 
nals. Both  the  original  claimants  died  long  before  the  matter  was  finally  set- 
tled by  a  decision  of  the  supreme  court  of  the  United  States  rendered  in  March, 
1853.  The  case  was  one  of  the  most  important  and  closely  contested  law-cases 
in  Iowa  litigation.  Able  attorneys  were  employed  on  both  sides.  The  title  to 
a  large  tract  of  land,  including  the  city  of  Dubuque  and  its  valuable  lead  mines, 
was  involved.  The  final  decision  of  the  court  was  based  upon  the  legal  con- 
struction to  be  given  to  the  original  grant  made  by  the  Indian  council  to  Dubuque 
in  1788,  and  also  upon  the  nature  of  the  grant  received  by  him  from  Governor 

Carondelet  in  1796.    The  court  held  that  both  these  grants  were  but  in  the  nature 
Vol.  1—4 


44  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

of  permits  or  leases  to  mine  lead,  and  were  not  intended  to  convey  actual  title. 
During  the  time  Dubuque  lived  in  Iowa,  three  flags  had  floated  over  him,  the 
red  and  yellow  of  Spain,  the  tricolor  of  France,  and  the  Stars  and  Stripes  of  the 
United  States.  A  monument  erected  to  his  memory  bears  this  inscription : 
"Julien  Dubuque,  Miner  of  the  Mines  of  Spain,  the  founder  of  our  city,  died 
March  24th,  18 10,  aged  45  years  and  six  months."  The  other  two  grants  were, 
one  to  Basil  Girard  of  the  land  where  the  city  of  McGregor  now  stands,  the  other 
to  Louis  Tesson,  called  by  some  Honore  or  Honori,  of  the  land  on  which  Mont- 
rose in  Lee  county  is  situated.  These  two  grants  were  later  confirmed  by  the 
United  States. 

Before  the  Louisiana  territory  could  be  transferred  to  the  United  States,  it 
was  necessary  that  France  should  first  formally  receive  it  from  Spain.  Accord- 
ingly the  French  appointed  M.  Laussat  to  receive  the  government  of  the  prov- 
ince. He  arrived  at  New  Orleans  November  30,  1803,  and  presented  the  Span- 
ish authorities  his  credentials  with  the  order  for  the  transfer  of  the  province. 
Laussat  remained  in  authority  until  the  twentieth  of  December  when  the  United 
States  commissioners,  Governor  Claiborne,  and  Governor  James  Wilkinson 
arrived  and  formally  received  the  province  from  the  French,  Salter  gives  this 
description  of  the  ceremony :  "The  day  was  fine.  A  large  crowd  assembled. 
The  treaty  and  the  credentials  of  the  commissioners  were  read.  Laussat  then 
gave  the  keys  of  the  city  to  Claiborne  and  proclaimed  the  transfer  of  Louisiana 
to  the  United  States.  The  French  flag  came  down  and  the  American  flag  went 
up.  As  they  met  in  midair,  cannon  and  guns  resounded  with  salutes  to  both 
flags.  On  the  same  day  Governor  Claiborne  issued  a  proclamation  declaring 
the  authority  of  Spain  and  France  at  an  end,  and  the  establishment  of  that  of 
the  United  States  of  America."  The  transfer  of  Upper  Louisiana  the  same 
writer  describes  thus :  "The  following  spring  similar  ceremonies  took  place 
at  St.  Louis.  Captain  Amos  Stoddard,  of  the  United  States  Artillery,  was  com- 
missioned to  act  for  both  the  French  Republic  and  the  United  States.  On  the 
ninth  of  March,  1804,  he  received  for  France  the  government  of  Upper  Louisiana 
from  Don  Carlos  de  Hault  De  Lassus,  the  Spanish  lieutenant  governor,  a 
man  of  high  character,  French  by  birth,  but  long  in  the  Spanish  service,  and  a 
personal  friend  of  General  William  Henry  Harrison,  then  governor  of  the  adjoin- 
ing Indiana  territory.  On  the  next  day,  the  tenth  of  March,  Captain  Stoddard, 
acting  for  both  countries,  transferred  the  government  from  France,  and  received 
it  for  the  United  States.  On  one  day  the  flag  of  Spain  gave  way  to  that  of 
France,  on  the  next  day  the  flag  of  France  gave  way  to  that  of  the  United 
States." 

Iowa  has  two  inheritances,  geographical  and  political.  Dr.  Shambaugh  says : 
"As  a  geographical  area,  the  Iowa  country  became  a  part  of  the  United  States 
through  the  purchase  of  the  province  of  Louisiana  in  1803;  and  so  her  territorial 
descent  is  traced  through  the  district  of  Louisiana,  the  territory  of  Louisiana, 
and  the  territory  of  Missouri.  On  the  other  hand  the  political  inheritances  of 
Iowa,  which  are  Anglo-American,  were  transmitted  through  the  territories  of 
the  Old  Northwest,  especially  the  Northwest  territory,  the  Indiana  territorv, 
the  territory  of  Michigan,  and  the  original  territory  of  Wisconsin. 

On  March  26,   1804,  congress  passed  an  act  extending  the  constitution  and 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  45 

laws  of  the  United  States  to  Louisiana.  The  territory  of  Louisiana  was  divided 
into  two  parts,  and  the  thirty-third  degree  of  north  latitude,  or  about  the  north 
line  of  Arkansas  was  fixed  as  the  dividing  line.  The  southern  part  was  called 
the  territory  of  Orleans,  and  was  given  government  similar  to  that  of  the  adjoin- 
ing territory  of  Mississippi.  The  northern  part  was  called  the  district  of 
Louisiana,  and  its  government  was  vested  in  the  governor  and  judges  of 
Indiana.  The  district  of  Louisiana  had  an  existence  of  nine  months  as  a  part 
of  the  Indiana  territory.  During  this  time  the  district  of  St.  Charles  was 
formed.  This  included  the  inhabited  portion  north  of  the  Missouri  river, — the 
settlements  of  Tesson,  Dubuque  and  Girard  in  what  is  now  Iowa. 

Even  at  this  early  day,  the  question  of  slavery  had  entered  into  National 
legislation.  Indiana  was  a  free  territory.  It  had  been  organized  under  the 
"Ordinance  of  1787,"  which  had  forever  prohibited  the  introduction  of  slavery 
within  its  limits.  This  ordinance  had  been  applied  to  the  Mississippi  territory 
excepting,  however,  the  clause  prohibiting  slavery.  On  October  i,  1804,  General 
\\'illiam  Henry  Harrison,  then  governor  of  Indiana,  assumed  the  office  of  gov- 
ernor of  the  territory  of  Louisiana  also.  But  the  people  of  St.  Louis  were  dis- 
satisfied with  the  government  of  Indiana.  Remonstrances  were  sent  to  Wash- 
ington. They  said,  "that  placing  the  district  under  the  territory  where  slavery 
is  proscribed  is  calculated  to  alarm  the  people,  and  create  the  presumption  of  a 
disposition  in  congress  to  abolish  slavery  in  the  district  at  a  future  day."  They 
claimed,  "that  in  view  of  the  treaty,  the  people  were  entitled  to  their  slaves  and 
to  the  right  of  importing  slaves."  But  John  Randolph,  to  whom  the  petition  of 
remonstrance  had  been  referred  stood  firm,  and  reported,  "that  the  prohibition 
of  the  importation  of  foreign  slaves  was  a  wise  .and  salutary  restriction  equally 
dictated  by  humanity  and  policy."  A  year  previous  some  Indiana  citizens  had 
petitioned  to  have  the  articles  of  the  ordinace  which  prohibited  slavery  sus- 
pended claiming  that  it  tended  to  prevent  the  immigration  of  persons  Avho  would 
come  if  they  could  bring  their  slaves  with  them.  Randolph  had  then  replied, 
"that  it  was  inexpedient  to  impair  a  provision  wisely  calculated  to  promote  the 
happiness  and  prosperity  of  the  northwestern  country."  Congress  denied  the  peti- 
tion of  the  citizens  of  Indiana,  but  yielded  to  the  demands  of  those  on  the  west 
side  of  the  Mississippi  river.  Governor  Harrison  and  the  judges  associated  with 
him  were  instructed  to  enact  "a  law  respecting  slaves,"  that  would  be  pleasing 
to  the  citizens  of  the  district  of  Louisiana.  Thus  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  the 
district  of  Louisiana  had  been  organized  under  the  Ordinance  of  1787,  and 
with  the  clause  prohibiting  slavery  in  full  force,  slavery  was  fastened  upon  it 
from  the  southern  boundary  to  the  British  line. 

Another  important  event  which  occurred  in  the  district  during  Harrison's 
governorship  was  the  Lewis  and  Clark  expedition.  Even  before  the  Louisiana 
Purchase,  President  Jefferson  had  sent  a  confidential  message  to  congress  ask- 
ing an  appropriation  of  twenty-five  hundred  dollars  for  the  exploration  of  the 
Missouri  river,  and  the  discovery  of  a  passage  from  its  head  waters  to  the  Pacific 
ocean.  Congress  voted  the  appropriation  as  asked.  An  exploring  party  was 
organized  under  the  command  of  Captain  Lewis  and  Clark.  Arriving  at  St. 
Louis  in  December,  1803,  the  party  planned  to  spend  the  winter  with  Daniel 
Boone,  on  the  Missouri  river.    But  the  Spanish  governor,  not  yet  having  received 


46  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

the  official  notice  of  the  transfer  of  the  province  would  not  allow  them  to 
remain.  They  therefore  wintered  on  the  east  side  of  the  Mississippi  opposite 
the  mouth  of  the  Missouri.  From  here  they  started  out  on  their  long  journey, 
May  14th,  1804.  They  ascended  the  Missouri  river,  and  on  the  eighteenth  of 
July,  they  reached  the  western  boundary  of  Iowa.  They  continued  their  course 
up  the  boundary  river  until  they  came  to  the  mouth  of  the  Big  Sioux  river, 
August  21.  Here  occurred  the  only  tragic  event  of  the  whole  voyage, — the 
death  of  Sergeant  Charles  Floyd.  He  was  buried  on  the  top  of  the  bluff  over- 
looking the  river.  His  comrades  marked  this  pot  with  a  cedar  post  inscribed 
with  his  name  and  the  date  of  his  death,  and  in  his  memory  called  it  "Floyd's 
Bluff."  Here,  in  190 1,  another  generation  erected  a  lofty  obelisk  to  his  memory. 
The  exploring  party  continued  their  course  up  the  Missouri  to  its  source  in 
the  Rocky  mountains,  then  crossing  the  divide  to  the  Columbia,  they  reached 
the  shores  of  the  Pacific  ocean,  November  16,  1805.  Their  long  journey  was 
at  an  end. 

On  July  4,  1805,  the  district  of  Louisiana  became  the  territory  of  Louisiana, 
and  President  Jefferson  appointed  General  James  Wilkinson  governor.  The 
most  important  events  in  his  administration  were  the  exploration  by  Lieutenant 
Zebulon  Pike,  of  the  upper  valley  of  the  Mississippi  river,  and  the  estab- 
lishment of  Fort  Madison  in  Iowa.  The  next  change  was  when  the  people  of 
Orleans  territory,  having  organized  a  state  government  and  named  it  Louisi- 
ana, and  the  state  being  admitted  into  the  Union  in  April  1812,  congress  gave 
another  name  to  the  territory  of  Louisiana  and  called  it  the  territory  of  Mis- 
souri. William  Clark  of  the  Lewis  and  Clark  expedition  was  appointed  gov- 
ernor and  continued  in  office  during  the  nine  years  of  the  existence  of  the 
territory  of  Missouri.  Edwin  Hempstead,  a  native  of  Connecticut  and  a  man 
of  high  character,  was  chosen  delegate  to  congress.  He  was  especially  inter- 
ested in  securing  legislation  for  the  support  of  schools. 

On  the  eighteenth  of  July,  1812,  congress  declared  war  against  England. 
The  valley  of  the  Mississippi  was  the  scene  of  incessant  warfare.  England 
made  a  desperate  effort  to  keep  the  Indian  trade  and  the  Indian  country  in  the 
West  in  the  hands  of  the  British  fur  companies.  Red  men  fought  against 
each  other,  now  the  ally  of  the  British,  now  the  ally  of  the  American.  During 
the  year  1816,  peace  was  generally  established  throughout  the  West.  With  the 
coming  of  peace,  a  great  influx  of  immigration  into  the  territory  of  Missouri 
followed.    The  population  doubled  in  five  years. 

Illinois  became  a  state,  December  3,  1818,  much  to  the  dissatisfaction  of 
the  people  of  the  Missouri  territory  who  had  long  desired  statehood  for  them- 
selves. They  therefore  presented  a  memorial  to  congress,  stating:  "That  their 
population  was  but  little  less  than  one  hundred  thousand,  was  daily  increasing 
with  a  rapidity  almost  unequalled,  and  that  the  territorial  limits  were  too  exten- 
sive to  admit  of  a  convenient  government."  They  therefore  asked  that  the 
boundaries  of  the  territory  be  reduced,  and  that  within  such  new  boundaries 
they  be  allowed  to  establish  a  new  state.  One  reason  which  the  people  of  the 
JNIissouri  territory  advanced  for  the  reduction  of  their  northern  boundary  was 
as  follows :  "The  districts  of  the  country  that  are  fertile  and  susceptible  of 
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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  47 

immense  plains  and  barren  tracts  which  must  for  ages  remain  waste  and 
uninhabited.  These  frontier  settlements  can  only  become  important  and  respect- 
able by  being  united,  and  one  great  object  is  the  formation  of  an  effectual 
barrier  against  Indian  excursions  by  pushing  a  strong  settlement  on  the  Little 
Platte  to  the  west,  and  on  the  Des  Moines  to  the  north."  Today  there  is  scarcely 
an  acre  of  this  land  that  is  not  under  cultivation  and  improvement. 

Soon  after  the  presentation  of  his  memorial  to  congress,  a  bill  authorizing 
the  people  of  Missouri  to  form  a  state  government  was  introduced  in  the  house 
of  representatives.  On  February  13,  1819,  the  bill  being  under  discussion, 
James  Tallmadge,  Jr.,  of  New  York  made  a  motion  to  prohibit  the  further 
introduction  of  slaves  into  the  proposed  state,  and  give  freedom  to  all  children 
of  slaves  born  there  after  the  admission  of  the  state  into  the  Union,  at  the  age 
of  twenty-five.  Heated  debates  followed.  Prohibition  of  slavery  was  declared 
unconstitutional.  In  the  senate,  Rufus  King  of  New  York  maintained  the  con- 
stitutional right  and  the  duty  of  congress  to  prohibit  slavery  in  Missouri, 
Having  been  a  member  of  the  convention  which  framed  the  coiistitution  his 
words  carried  force  and  weight.  Thomas  H.  Benton  calls  them,  "the  signal 
guns  of  the  controvers)%  which  was  to  follow."  Yet  they  were  spoken  with  no 
heat  or  passion.  The  house  of  representatives  passed  the  bill  authorizing  the 
people  of  ^Missouri  to  form  a  state  government  but  with  a  provision  prohibiting 
further  introduction  of  slavery  in  its  boundary.  But  the  senate  refused  to  con- 
cur in  the  prohibition  of  slavery  clause,  and  the  whole  bill  came  to  naught. 

The  territory  of  Arkansas  was  formed  out  of  the  southern  part  of  the  ter- 
ritory of  Missouri,  and  a  motion  to  prohibit  slavery  in  its  boundaries,  was 
lost  in  both  houses  of  congress.  The  whole  country  became  aroused  over  the 
question.  The  dark  shadows  of  the  Civil  war  had  even  now  begun  to  fall.  The 
North  and  the  South  had  begun  to  take  sides  against  each  other.  The  North 
claimed  that  the  territory  of  the  Louisiana  Purchase  should  be  free.  The 
South  insisted  that  it  shauld  be  slave,  if  the  people  of  the  territory  so  desired. 
The  question  was  resumed  the  next  congress.  On  one  side  was  Charles  Pinck- 
ney  of  South  Carolina.  Opposed  to  him  was  Rufus  King  of  New  York.  Both 
had  been  members  of  the  convention  that  framed  the  constitution  of  the  United 
States,  and  now  from  opposing  sides  sought  to  interpret  its  provisions.  The 
Alissouri  Compromise  with  its  temporizing  measures  was  passed;  and  ^lis- 
souri  became  a  state  August  12,  1821. 

Upon  the  admission  of  the  ■"  .e  of  Missouri  into  the  Union,  the  country 
to  the  north  of  that  state,  and  the  rest  of  the  Louisiana  Purchase  was  left  with- 
out law  or  government,  except  the  prohibition  of  slavery  and  laws  to  regulate 
the  Indian  trade.  Traders  and  army  officers,  however,  still  carried  slaves  into 
the  territory. 

Iowa  at  that  time,  was  the  home  of  a  few  Indian  tribes,  living  in  villages 
on  the  banks  of  the  rivers  and  streams.  All  told  they  were  not  more  than  ten 
thousand  in  number.  In  the  eastern  and  central  part  of  the  state  were  the 
Sacs  and  Foxes  and  lowas.  In  the  western  part  of  the  state  were  the  Otoes, 
Pawnees  and  Omahas.  In  the  north  were  roving  bands  of  Sioux,  ^^'ar  and 
the  hunt  were  the  chief  occupations  of  the  various  tribes,  although  some  agri- 


48  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

culture  was  carried  on  by  the  women  and  old  men  of  the  tribes.     At  Dubuque 
the  Indians  mined  small  quantities  of  lead. 

The  Indian  trade  was  monopolized  by  the  American  Fur  Company,  who 
reaped  enormous  profits  therefrom.  In  spite  of  the  law  prohibiting  the  sale 
of  intoxicating  liquors  in  the  Indian  country,  it  was  smuggled  in,  to  be 
exchanged,  together  with  gaudy  trinkets  for  valuable  furs  and  lead  ore.  The 
foundations  of  the  Astor  millions  were  made  from  the  profits  of  this  Indian 
trade. 

Congress  fostering  the  rich  fur  trade  of  the  far  west  paid  little  attention 
to  the  country  between  the  Mississippi  and  the  Missouri.  Both  President  Mon- 
roe and  President  Jackson  in  their  annual  messages  to  congress  suggested  that 
this  country  be  made  a  home  for  the  northern  Indians,  and  recommended  the 
removal  thereto  of  the  Indian  tribes  east  of  the  Mississippi,  with  the  estab-  - 
lishment  of  industrial  schools  for  their  education.  Had  these  suggestions  been 
carried  out  Iowa  would  have  been  a  reservation  for  the  Indians  of  the  North, 
similar  to  what- Indian  Territory  later  became  for  the  Indians  of  the  South. 

But  the  Indians  did  not  readily  take  to  either  civilization  or  industry.  They 
preferred  war  and  the  hunt.  As  their  hunting  grounds  were  more  or  less 
restricted,  they  often  came  in  conflict.  The  Sacs  and  Foxes  were  the  hereditary 
foes  of  the  Sioux  and  these  tribes  were  in  constant  warfare.  Had  the  tribes 
remained  at  peace  with  each  other  and  with  the  United  States  they  might  have 
for  a  long  time  retained  their  Iowa  homes.  There  was  no  disposition  on  the  part 
of  the  United  States  at  that  time  to  acquire  their  possessions.  Large  tracts 
of  lands  east  of  the  Mississippi  were  still  unsettled.  There  seemed  no  necessity, 
as  there  was  no  demand,  for  more  land  to  be  thrown  open  to  settlement.  The 
constant  warfare  between  the  tribes,  and  their  general  condition,  however,  made 
it  seem  best  for  the  United  States  to  intervene.  Hoping  to  promote  peace 
between  the  various  tribes  and  to  establish  permanent  boundaries,  Governor 
Clark  sent  invitations  to  the  various  tribes  from  the  Lakes  to  the  Missouri  to 
send  their  chief  men  to  a  great  council  to  be  held  at  Prairie  du  Chien  in  the  sum- 
mer of  1825. 

It  was  a  great  gathering.  Three  thousand  were  in  attendance.  The  summer 
was  s'pent  in  feasts  and  councils.  At  last  after  many  discussions  the.  warring 
tribes  buried  the  tomahawk;  and  in  the  smoke  of  the  peace  pipe,  one  hundred 
and  thirty-four  chiefs  made  their  mark  approving  the  treaty.  The  treaty  fixed 
the  boundaries  betfveen  the  various  tribes.  No  tribe  was  to  hunt  upon  the  ter- 
ritory of  another  without  their  assent. 

The  dividing  line  between  the  Sacs  and  Foxes  and  the  Sioux,  as  established 
by  the  treaty,  began  at  the  mouth  of  the  Upper  Iowa  thence  up  the  river  to  the 
source  of  its  left  fork,  thence  crossing  the  Red  Cedar  in  a  direct  line  to  the 
upper  fork  of  the  Des  Moines,  near  Dakota  City  in  Humboldt  county,  thence 
in  a  direct  line  to  the  lower  fork  of  the  Calumet  or  Big  Sioux,  and  down  that 
river  to  the  Missouri.    This  line  was  called  the  "Neutral  Line." 

The  Indians,  however,  could  not  keep  their  agreement.  "Touching  the 
goose  quill,"  as  they  styled  it,  meant  nothing  to  them.  On  the  slightest  provoca- 
tion they  were  at  war  again.    The  Sioux  still  made  war  on  the  Sacs  and  Foxes. 

Finallv  another  council  of  their  chiefs  was  convened  at  Prairie  du  Chien, 


HON.  WILLIAM  S.  KEN  YON 
United  States  Senator  from  Iowa,  elected  April   12.  1911 


THE  NEW  YORK 
PUBLIC     LIBRARY 


AS'  C",    L-   "JOX   AND 
TILD     rJ    FOUNDATIONS. 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  49 

July,  1830,  and  it  was  decided  to  erect  a  barrier  between  them.  On  the  north 
of  the  "Neutral  Line"  the  Sioux  ceded  to  the  United  States  a  strip  twenty  miles 
wide,  and  on  the  south  the  Sacs  and  Foxes  ceded  a  similar  strip.  This  was 
known  as  "Neutral  Grounds"  or  the  "Neutral  Strip."  The  southwest  corner 
of  this  "Neutral  Strip"  was  about  four  miles  below  the  present  city  of  Fort 
Dodge.  Later,  in  1833,  the  "Neutral  Strip"  was  granted  by  the  United  States 
to  the  Winnebagoes  in  exchange  for  their  lands  in  Illinois  and  Wisconsin.  Under 
the  terms  of  the  same  treaty,  the  Sacs  and  Foxes  together  with  the  lowas,  Mis- 
sourias,  Omahas,  Otoes  and  bands  of  Sioux,  joined  in  ceding  to  the  United 
States  all  their  lands  lying  west  of  the  watershed  between  the  Des  Moines  and 
Missouri  rivers,  eastward  to  the  "Neutral  Strip"  and  northward  to  the  present 
state  of  Minnesota.  This  was  the  first  cession  of  Indian  land  in  Iowa.  Twenty- 
one  years  later  the  Sioux  made  the  last  cession,  and  the  Indian  title  of  the  land 
of  Iowa  was  extinguished,  except  the  small  reservation  which  is  still  held  by 
the  Musquakie  in  Tama  county.  Yet  Governor  Clark,  at  the  Prairie  du  Chien 
council  of  1825,  had  assured  the  Indian  chiefs,  that  the  "Great  Father"  wanted 
nothing,  "not  the  smallest  piece"  of  their  land.  For  this  title  the  United  States 
paid  the  Indians  a  little  over  eight  cents  per  acre. 

In  the  popular  mind  Iowa  was  still  looked  upon  as  barren  and  uninhabitable. 
The  few  white  men  who  had  "squatted"  along  its  eastern  portion  were  driven 
off  by  the  soldiers  and  their  cabins  burned.  They  were  not  even  permitted  to 
work  the  lead  mines  at  Dubuque.  The  Black  Hawk  war,  however,  was  the 
immediate  cause  of  immigration  turning  to  Iowa.  At  the  close  of  this  war  the 
Indians  were  compelled  to  sell  to  the  United  States  a  large  tract  of  land  along 
the  Mississippi  known  as  the  "Black  Hawk  Purchase  of  1832."  On  the  first 
<lay  of  June,  1833.  the  United  States  troops  were  withdrawn.  Immigration 
rapidly  spread  over  the  territory.  The  settler  outran  the  government  surveyor, 
and  without  law  or  license  staked  his  claim  and  awaited  the  official  opening. 
Already  the  Iowa  idea,  of  "get  more  land,  to  raise  more  corn,  to  feed  more  hogs, 
to  buy  more  land,"  had  taken  hold  of  the  Iowa  farmer.  It  was  the  pioneer  of 
the  highest  type  that  came.  Lieutenant  Albert  Lea,  in  1836,  writes  thus  of 
the  early  Iowa  pioneers,  "the  character  of  this  population  is  such  as  is  rarely 
found  in  our  newly  acquired  territories.  With  very  few  exceptions,  there  is 
not  a  more  orderly,  industrious,  active,  painstaking  population  west  of  the 
Alleghanies  than  is  this  of  the  Iowa  district."  Up  to  this  time  the  white  men, 
who  had  come,  w'ere  merely  adventurers  whose  sole  aim  was  making  money. 
These  pioneers  came  for  the  purpose  of  biiilding  homes.  They  brought  with 
them  American  institutions.  No  sooner  had  they  arrived  than  they  began  the 
erection  of  schools  and  churches.  These  pioneers  of  the  thirties  had  no  legis- 
lative-made law  in  this  new  country.  However,  they  obeyed  the  higher  law  of 
God  and  applied  the  precepts  of  the  Golden  Rule  to  their  dealings  with  their 
fellowmen.  There  were  some  instances  of  strife  and  contention  among  these 
early  settlers  for  town  sites,  mill  sites,  choice  belts  of  timber  and  best  land. 
There  was  the  occasional  claim  jumper.  There  was  the  man,  who  would  have 
completely  confirmed  Calhoun's  idea  that  the  new  Iowa  country  was  peopled 
with  rascals.  These  were  the  exceptions.  Good  feeling  generally  prevailed. 
Rules  and  regulations  as  to  claims  were  agreed  upon  in  the  interest  of   fair 


50  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY       " 

dealings  and  mutual  protection.  Moreover,  with  but  few  exceptions,  these  regu- 
lations were  kept.  As  yet,  the  United  States  had  given  these  pioneers  no  title 
to  their  land.  They  had  simply  "squatted"  beside  stream,  or  in  grove,  or 
wherever  a  pleasant  homestead  site  appeared.  In  a  strict  interpretation  of  the 
law,  these  "squatters"  might  be  called  trespassers.  Yet  no  class  of  men  were 
more  law  respecting.  Since  there  was  no  national  protection  for  the  claims 
they  had  staked  out,  they  formed  organizations  for  mutual  protection.  These 
organizations  were  called  land  clubs  or  claim  associations.  In  all  there  were 
perhaps  about  one  hundred  of  these  during  the  time  Iowa  was  in  the  different 
stages  of  territorial  development. 

Crime  was  punished  and  justice  was  meted  out  as  surely  and  quickly  as 
though  there  had  been  regularly  appointed  courts.  The  fact  that  Iowa  was  a 
sort  of  "no  man's  land"  did  not  deter  the  cause  of  right  from  prevailing.  An 
instance  of  this  is  shown  in  the  trial  and  execution  of  Patrick  O'Connor  for 
the  murder  of  George  O'Keefe  in  Dubuque.  The  citizens  of  Dubuque  county 
appealed  in  vain  to  the  governor  of  Missouri  and  to  the  judge  of  the  western 
district  of  Michigan  territory ;  but  they  each  claimed  it  was  without  their  juris- 
diction. A  citizen  court  conducted  the  trial  with  deliberation  and  solemnity. 
A  jury  was  empaneled.  All  judicial  forms  were  observed.  Sentence  was  pro- 
nounced and  the  death  penalty  imposed  within  a  month  after  the  commission 
of  the  crime — an  example  of  speedy  execution  of  justice. 

In  1834,  the  territory  was  attached  to  the  territory  of  Michigan  for  tem- 
porary government.  The  citizens  of  the  Iowa  country  were  given  the  same 
privileges  and  immunities  and  subjected  to  the  same  laws  as  the  other  citizens 
of  Michigan  territory.  Iowa  for  the  first  time  became  in  reality  a  free  terri- 
tory. By  the  terms  of  the  Missouri  Compromise,  slavery  had  been  prohibited 
within  its  borders,  yet  this  prohibition  had  been  a  dead  letter  for  fourteen  years. 
Slaves  had  been  carried  into  the  territory  at  will.  But  this  transfer  of  the  Iowa 
country  to  a  free  territory  caused  the  importation  of  slaves  to  cease.  The 
pioneers  in  Iowa  gladly  welcomed  the  change  in  government.  To  show  their 
appreciation,  they  made  the  Fourth  of  July,  1834,  a  double  holiday.  It  was  in 
honor  of  this  occasion  that  Nicholas  Carroll,  an  Irishman,  who  lived  in  the 
vicinity  of  Dubuque,  first  unfurled  the  Stars  and  Stripes  in  Iowa.  It  is  said 
that  a  black  woman,  who  v;as  a  slave,  superintended  the  making  of  this  flag. 

Governor  Mason  called  an  extra  session  of  the  legislative  council  of  Mich- 
igan territory  in  1834.  At  this  session  the  council  established  the  two  counties 
of  Dubuque  and  Demoines,  and  constituted  each  a  township,  one  Julien,  and 
the  other  Flint  Hills  (afterwards  called  Burlington).  A  county  court  was  pro- 
vided for  each  county  and  the  laws  then  in  force  in  Iowa  county  were  extended  to 
them.  Iowa  county  at  that  time,  was  the  nearest  organized  portion  of  Michi- 
gan Territory  to  the  new  counties.  The  same  judge  presided  over  the  three 
counties ;  and  together  they  formed  what  was  known  as  the  Iowa  District.  Later 
the  name  Iowa  was  applied  to  the  new  territory.  The  first  officers  of  Dubuque 
county  were  appointed  September  6,  1834.  It  is  said  they  were  men  of  fine 
character  and  ability.  John  King,  who  was  appointed  chief  justice  of  the 
county  courts,  in  1836,  established  the  first  newspaper  in  Iowa,  "The  Dubuque 
Visitor."     The  officers  of  Demoines  county  were  appointed  in  December,  1834. 


j 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  51 

Like  the  officers  of  Dubuque  county  they  were  men  of  ability  and  strong  char- 
acter. WiUiam  R.  Ross,  the  county  clerk,  built  in  the  city  of  Burlington,  a 
Methodist  church,  which  he  said,  "was  free  for  every  order  to  preach  in."  This 
was  afterward  called  "Old  Zion  Church."  In  it  was  held  the  first,  second  and 
third  Legislative  Assemblies  of  the  Territory  of  Iowa. 

Michigan  was  admitted  as  a  state  in  1836  and  the  Iowa  country  was  again 
without  government.  For  a  while  there  existed  a  Michigan  State  and  a  Mich- 
isran  Territorv,  due  to  the  fact  that  the  state  had  a  smaller  territorial  extent 
than  the  territory.  Andrew  Jackson  appointed  John  S.  Horner,  governor  of 
the  territorv.  However,  he  proved  unworthy  of  the  office.  A  council  was 
organized  with  William  Schuyler  Hamilton,  son  of  Alexander  Hamilton,  as 
president.  This  council  by  a  vote  of  eight  to  one,  asked  President  Jackson  to 
revoke  the  commission  of  Governor  Horner.  This  he  declined  to  do.  The 
following  plaintive  petition  was  then  sent  to  congress:  "Thrown  off  by  Michi- 
gan in  the  formation  of  her  new  state,  without  an  acting  governor  to  enforce 
the  laws,  without  a  competent  civil  jurisdiction  to  give  security  to  our  lives 
and  property,  we  ask  the  intervention  of  national  aid  to  give  us  a  new  efficient 
political  existence.  It  has  been  decided  by  the  Federal  court,  that  the  popula- 
tion west  of  the  Mississippi  are  not  under  its  jurisdiction;  and  the  monstrous 
anomaly  is  presented,  that  citizens  of  the  United  States  living  in  its  territory 
should  be  unprotected  by  its  courts  of  civil  and  criminal  jurisprudence." 
Congress  delayed  action.  Finally  through  the  persistent  efforts  of  the  dele- 
gates of  the  Michigan  Territory,  congress  at  last  created  the  Territorial  govern- 
ment of  Wisconsin,  April  30,  1836. 

The  Territory  of  W^isconsin  included  the  country  between  Lake  Michigan 
and  the  Missouri  and  White  Earth  rivers,  north  of  the  state  of  Illinois  and 
Missouri.  Provision  was  made  for  a  legislative  body  of  two  houses.  Henry 
Dodge  was  appointed  Governor  of  the  new  territory.  He  took  the  oath  of 
office  the  Fourth  of  July,  1836  at  Mineral  Point,  at  a  big  celebration,  which 
also  celebrated  the  sixtieth  anniversary  of  American  independence.  A  similar 
celebration  was  held  at  Dubuque.  Here  one  of  the  speakers  said  of  Governor 
Dodge,  "he  has  been  our  leader  through  two  Indian  wars,  and  is  now  governor 
of  the  Territory  and  superintendent  of  Indian  Affairs  in  the  Northwest.  His 
experience  as  a  frontier  man  and  Indian  fighter  has  pointed  him  out  for  these 
responsible  positions." 

George  W.  Jones  was  chosen  the  first  territorial  delegate  to  congress,  and 
continued  in  office  until  the  formation  of  Iowa  Territory.  The  first  legislative 
assembly  fixed  upon  ]\Iadison  as  the  capital  of  the  new  Territory  with  a  proviso 
that  a  second  session  and  also  a  special  session  were  to  be  held  at  Burlington  in 
Des  Moines  county.  At  this  session  Demoines  was  divided  into  the  counties 
of  Lee,  Van  Buren,  Des  Moines,  Henry,  Louisa,  Muscatine  and  Cook, — the 
last  named  was  afterwards  changed  to  Scott. 

The  first  legislative  assembly  ever  held  on  what  is  now  Iowa  soil  was  in 
Burlington  in  the  year  1837.  At  this  session  the  county  of  Dubuque  was  divided 
into  the  counties  of  Clayton,  Fayette,  Dubuque,  Delaware,  Buchanan,  Jack- 
son, Jones,  Linn,  Benton,  Clinton,  Scott,  Cedar,  Johnson  and  Keokuk.  But 
the  people  of  the  Iowa  country  were  not  long  satisfied  to  be  a  part  of  the  Wis- 


52  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

cousin  Territory.  They  had  an  inherent  longing  for  a  government  of  their 
own.  The  very  first  day,  that  the  legislative  assembly  convened,  a  convention 
also  met  to  approve  a  petition  to  congress  demanding  the  organization  of  a 
separate  territory.  The  petition  was  approved  by  both  the  convention  and  the 
legislative  assembly.  It  was  sent  to  General  George  W.  Jones  the  delegate  in 
congress.  He  at  once  began  to  work  for  the  establishment  of  a  territorial  gov- 
ernment for  the  Iowa  people,  although  he  lived  on  the  east  side  of  the  Missis- 
sippi river,  and  if  successful  in  his  efforts  would  remain  a  citizen  of  Wiscon- 
sin. At  this  time  there  was  considerable  dispute  over  what  the  new  territory 
should  be  named.  The  names  Washington,  Jefferson  and  Iowa  were  most 
strongly  advocated.  After  much  discussion  in  the  convention  the  name  Iowa 
w-as  decided  upon.  It  is  also  interesting  to  note  how  the  people  of  Iowa  came 
to  be  called  "Hawkeyes."  "The  Fort  Madison  Patriot,"  in  the  year  1836, 
published  the  following:  "If  a  division  of  the  territory  is  effected  we  propose 
that  the  lowans  take  the  cognomen  of  "Hawkeyes :" — our  etymology  can  thus 
be  more  definitely  traced  than  that  of  'Wolverines,'  'Suckers,'  and  'Hoosiers' 
and  we  can  rescue  from  oblivion  at  least  a  memento  of  the  old  chief."  Through 
the  diplomacy  of  George  W.  Jones,  a  bill  establishing  Iowa  Territory  passed 
both  houses  of  congress  and  was  signed  by  President  Van  Buren  to  take  effect 
July  4,  1838.  A  census  taken  May  of  that  year  gave  Iowa  Territory  a  popula- 
tion of  21,859.  President  Van  Buren  selected  Brigadier-General  Henry  Atkin- 
son to  be  the  first  governor  of  Iowa  Territory.  This  choice  was  made  because 
of  his  intimate  acquaintance  with  Indian  Affairs  in  the  Mississippi  valley.  But 
General  Atkinson  preferred  to  retain  his  position  as  commander  of  the  west- 
ern division  of  the  army  and  declined  the  oftice.  The  president  then  appointed 
Robert  Lucas.    His  commission  was  dated,  July  17,  1838. 

Robert  Lucas  seemed  to  have  a  genius  for  pioneering.  He  was  born  and 
brought  up  in  a  pioneer  settlement  in  A^rginia.  Wlien  a  young  man  he  moved 
to  a  frontier  settlement  in  Ohio.  In  his  fifty-seventh  year  he  had  the  courage 
to  go  forth  again  into  a  new  country.  Robert  Lucas  had  been  twnce  governor 
of  Ohio  and  was  well  fitted  for  moulding  the  government  of  a  new  territory. 
On  his  way  to  Iowa,  Governor  Lucas  stopped  at  Cincinnati,  to  purchase  a 
library  for  the  new  territory,  for  which  purpose  five  thousand  dollars  had  been 
appropriated  by  the  Organic  Act  of  the  Territory  of  Iowa.  "•  It  was  here  that 
he  made  the  acquaintance  of  Theodore  S.  Parvin,  who  came  west  with  him, 
and  for  a  while  acted  as  his  private  secretary.  Parvin  was  one  of  the  founders 
of  the  Masonic  order  of  Iowa,  and  was  Grand  Secretary  of  the  Grand  Lodge 
of  the  state  for  many  years.  He  was  largely  instrumental  in  the  founding  of 
the  Masonic  Library  at  Cedar  Rapids  the  largest  of  its  kind  in  the  world. 
The  first  official  act  of  Governor  Lucas  w'as  the  choosing  of  Burlington  as  the 
capital  of  the  Territory.  The  election  to  choose  members  to  the  First  Legis- 
lative Assembly  was  held  September  10,  1838.  This  Assembly  consisting  of 
thirty-nine  members  convened  in  the  "Old  Zion  Church"  at  Burlington,  Novem- 
ber 12,  1838. 

On  the  first  day  of  the  session.  Governor  Lucas  read  his  message  to  the 
legislature,  a  message  which  was  in  many  respects  in  advance  of  his  time.  In 
it,  he  declared  that  the  rights  and  immunities  of  the  Ordinance  of  1787  belonged 


FOET  DODGE  HIGH  SCHOOL  BASKET  BALL  TEAAL  1911. 
Kullenbeck — Townsend — Gilleas — Skein — Hardwick — Spainhower 
— Welty — McKinley — Gustafson 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  53 

to  Iowa.  He  urged  the  compilation  of  a  complete  code  of  laws  for  the  Terri- 
tory, the  establishment  of  a  system  of  common  schools,  the  necessity  of  a  code 
of  criminal  law,  the  organization  of  an  efficient  militia  for  defense  against  pos- 
sible Indian  attacks  and  the  appointment  of  three  commissioners  to  choose  a 
permanent  seat  of  government.  He  arranged  the  two  vices,  gambling  and 
intemperance,  in  the  severest  terms.  He  said,  "Could  you  in  your  wisdom 
devise  w^ays  to  check  the  progress  of  gambling  and  intemperance  in  this  terri- 
tory, you  will  perform  an  act  which  would  immortalize  your  names  and  entitle 
3'ou  to  the  gratitude  of  posterity."  In  speaking  of  appointments  he  said,  "I  shall 
at  all  time  pay  a  due  respect  to  recommendations  but  cannot  conscien- 
tiously nominate  to  office  any  individual  of  bad  moral  character  or  that  may  be 
addicted  to  intemperance  or  gambling  if  known  to  me."  This  w^as  a  bold  doc- 
trine to  preach  to  a  body  of  men,  many  of  whom  w^ere  themselves  addicted  to 
these  vices.  "Strict  economy  but  not  parsimony"  was  the  financial  policy  of 
Governor  Lucas. 

The  members  of  the  first  legislative  assembly  were  for  the  -most  part  young 
men.  Over  a  third  of  them  were  under  thirty  years  of  age.  Governor  Lucas 
was  past  the  prime  of  life.  The  disparity  in  the  ages  of  Governor  Lucas  and 
the  members  of  the  legislature  was  the  cause  of  many  disagreements.  Governor 
Lucas  felt  that  on  account  of  their  youth  the  judgment  of  the  legislators  could 
not  be  trusted.  This  circumstance  coupled  with  the  fact  that  the  Organic  Act 
of  Iowa  had  put  an  absolute  veto  into  the  hands  of-  the  governor, — a  veto, 
which  sometimes  was  used  too  arbitrarily — made  a  wide  breach  between  the 
legislators  and  the  chief  executive.  So  intense  did  the  dissatisfaction  become, 
that  at  one  time,  the  legislature  sent  a  petition  to  the  President  of  the  United 
States,  asking  the  removal  of  Governor  Lucas.  Their  petition  however,  was 
refused  and  Governor  Lucas  remained  in  office  until  a  change  in  the  politics 
of  the  national  administration  made  necessary  the  appointment  of  a  whig. 

The  first  legislative  assembly  for  the  most  part  adopted  the  recommenda- 
tions of  Governor  Lucas.  A  commission  was  appointed  to  select  a  new  site 
for  the  capital,  somewhere  nearer  the  center  of  population  than  Burlington. 
This  commission  later  chose  Iowa  City.  The  code  prepared  by  the  assembly 
covered  all  the  ordinary  subjects  of  legislation.  Considering  their  lack  of  experi- 
ence, their  work  was  remarkably  well  done.  The  only  discreditable  act  was  the 
one  concerning  the  rights  of  the  negro  to  settle  in  the  territory.  In  this  law 
the  prevailing  prejudice  against  the  negro  is  shown.  No  free  negro  could 
move  into  Iowa  without  giving  bond  of  five  hundred  dollars  for  his  good 
behavior.  If  he  failed  to  do  this,  his  service  could  be  sold  to  the  highest  bidder. 
It  also  provided  that  an  escaped  slave  should  not  be  harbored  but  should  be 
returned  to  his  owner.  Any  slave  holder  was  authorized  to  come  into  Iowa 
Territory  to  procure  the  arrest  and  the  surrender  to  him,  by  an  Iowa  officer, 
of  any  slave  who  had  escaped  from  bondage  and  sought  freedom  on  the  Iowa 
soil. 

In  pleasing  contrast  to  this,  however,  is  the  attitude  shown  by  the  supreme 
court  of  Iowa  in  the  case  of  Ralph,  a  colored  man.  Ralph  had  been  a  slave  in 
Missouri,  and  had  belonged  to  a  man  named  Montgomery.  His  master  had 
made  a  written  contract  with  him  to  sell  him  his  freedom  for  five  hundred  and 


54  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

fifty  dollars,  and  to  permit  him  to  go  to  the  Dubuque  lead  mines  to  earn  the 
money.  Ralph  worked  industriously  for  several  years,  but  was  unable  to  earn 
enough  to  pay  the  price  of  his  freedom.  Two  Virginians,  who  knew  of  this 
agreement,  volunteered  to  deliver  Ralph  to  his  former  owner  for  one  hundred 
dollars.  Montgomery  accepted  the  offer.  Ralph  was  seized  and  taken  to  Belle- 
vue  to  be  sent  by  steamer  to  jMissouri.  Alexander  Butterworth,  who  had  seen 
the  kidnapping,  hastened  to  the  office  of  Thomas  S.  Wilson,  one  of  the  judges 
of  the  supreme  court,  and  demanded  a  writ  of  habeas  corpus,  which  Judge 
Wilson  promptly  granted.  By  this  nieans,  Ralph  was  returned  to  Dubuque. 
The  case  was  brought  before  the  first  supreme  court  of  Iowa  for  trial.  The 
members  of  this  tribunal  were  Judge  Charles  Alason,  chief  justice,  and  Judge 
Joseph  Williams  and  Judge  Thomas  S.  Wilson,  associate  justices.  After  a 
full  hearing,  the  court  unanimously  decided,  that  Montgomery's  contract  with 
Ralph,  whereby  he  was  permitted  to  become  a  citizen  of  a  free  territory,  liber- 
ated him,  as  slavery  did  not,  and  could  not  exist  in  Iowa.  This  opinion  was 
just  the  reverse  of  the  famous  Dred  Scott  Decision  given  by  the  United  States 
supreme  court  eighteen  years  later. 

In  his  message  to  the  second  legislative  assembly,  which  met  November  4, 
1839,  at  Burlington,  Governor  Lucas  recommended  the  passage  of  an  act  pro- 
viding for  the  calling  of  a  convention  to  form  a  state  constitution.  The  legis- 
lature adopted  this  recommendation,  and  a  proposition  calling  a  constitutional 
convention,  was  submitted  to  the  vote  of  the  people  at  the  next  election.  But 
the  people  of  Iowa  Territory  did  not  feel  quite  ready  to  shoulder  the  expenses 
and  burdens  of  statehood  and  the  proposition  was  defeated,  by  a  vote  of  937 
for  and  2,907  against. 

At  the  third  legislative  assembly,  which  convened  in  Burlington,  November 
2,  1840,  several  new  offices  of  importance  were  created,  one  of  them  being  the 
ofifice  of  superintendent  of  public  instruction.  William  Reynolds  was  the  first 
appointee  to  this  office. 

The  election  of  President  Harrison,  the  first  national  whig  victory,  was 
followed  in  Iowa  by  rapid  changes  in  federal  appointments.  Governor  Lucas, 
who  was  a  democrat,  was  succeeded  by  a  whig,  John  Chambers  of  Kentucky. 
Governor  Chambers  was  a  native  of  New  Jersey.  During  his  childhood,  his 
parents  moved  to  Kentucky.  Here  he  grew  to  manhood,  and  served  several 
terms  in  the  Kentucky  legislature.  Later  he  represented  that  state  in  congress. 
He  was  a  warm  personal  friend  of  William  Henry  Harrison.  Governor  Cham- 
bers brought  to  the  governorship  of  the  Territory  of  Iowa,  the  mature  judg- 
ment of  a  man  past  three  score  years,  together  with  a  wide  experience  in  state 
and  national  affairs.  As  superintendent  of  Indian  Affairs  of  Iowa  Territory, 
an  office  held  in  connection  with  his  governorship,  he  was  most  successful  in 
conducting  the  aff'airs  of  the  office  and  negotiated  a  number  of  notable  treaties 
with  the  Indians.  During  his  administration  the  Sacs  and  Foxes  ceded  all  their 
lands  in  central  Iowa,  and  agreed  to  remove  to  Kansas.  This  cession  was  made 
September,  1842,  and  with  the  throwing  open  to  settlement  of  this  large  tract, 
immigration  to  the  Des  Moines  valley  began. 

Iowa  was  fortunate  in  the  selection  of  her  territorial  delegates.  Like  the 
governors  they  proved  men  of  ability.     William  A.  Chapman,  the  first  delegate 


2   > 
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THE  NEW  YORK 
PUBLIC    LIBRARY 


ASTOR,  f^NOX  ANO 

TILD    N    FOUNDATIONS. 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  55 

to  congress,  was  elected  in  1838.  Through  his  efforts  Iowa  territory  secured 
a  grant  of  500,000  acres  as  an  appropriation  for  improvements.  The  income 
from  this  was  afterwards  devoted  to  school  purposes.  In  the  controversy  with 
the  state  of  Missouri  over  the  southern  boundary  line,  he  ably  defended  the 
claims  of  Iowa  Territory  against  the  encroachment  of  her  southern  neighbor. 
His  successor,  Augustus  Caesar  Dodge,  was  the  first  man,  born  in  the  Louisiana 
Purchase,  to  sit  in  congress.  His  services  were  of  great  value  in  securing  pre- 
emption rights  of  settlers,  extending  surveys  of  the  public  lands,  establishing 
mail  routes,  postoffices,  and  a  land  ofifice  at  Iowa  City,  and  in  obtaining  a  land 
grant  for  the  purpose  of  aiding  the  territory  to  improve  the  navigation  of  the 
Des  ]\Ioines  river ;  a  grant  which  afterwards  caused  the  river  land  troubles. 
It  was  largely  through  his  etTorts  that  the  difficulties,  over  the  admission  of 
Iowa  Territory  to  statehood,  were  adjusted.  The  city  of  Fort  Dodge  received 
its  name  from  Augustus  Caesar  Dodge  and  his  father  Henry  Dodge,  who  respec- 
tively at  the  same  time  represented  in  congress  the  territory  of  Iowa  and  the 
territory  of  Wisconsin. 

Governor  Chambers  in  his  message  to  the  fourth  legislative  assembly,  which 
convened  in  Iowa  City  in  1841,  renewed  the  recommendations  of  Governor  Lucas 
concerning  statehood.  Upon  submission  to  the  people  in  1847,  the  proposition 
was  again  defeated.  Two  years  later  it  was  submitted  for  the  third  time,  and 
this  time  carried  by  a  vote  of  nearly  two  to  one'.  The  constitutional  conven- 
tion met  at  Iowa  City,  October  7,  1844,  and  continued  in  session  until  November 
r.  The  general  sentiment  of  the  convention  was  an  favor  of  creating  a  large 
state  with  the  Missouri  river  as  the  western  boundary  and  St.  Peter's  river 
as  the  northern.  An  extension  to  include  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony  was  also 
advocated.  "The  State  of  Iowa,"  it  was  said,  "could  not  have  too  much  water 
power."  The  boundaries  as  finally  settled  upon  were  the  Mississippi  river  on 
the  east,  the  state  of  Missouri  on  the  south,  the  ^Missouri  river  to  the  mouth  of 
the  Sioux  river  on  the  west,  and  thence  in  a  direct  line  from  the  mouth  of  the 
Sioux  river  to  the  mouth  of  the  Blue  Earth  river,  thence  down  the  St.  Peter's 
river  to  the  Mississippi  on  the  northwest  and  north. 

Unexpectedly  the  question  of  boundaries  became  the  bone  of  contention, 
first  in  congress  and  afterwards  in  Iowa.  In  haste  for  admission  into  the  Union, 
the  constitution,  accompanied  by  a  memorial  asking  admission,  were  presented 
to  congress  in  December,  1844,  nearly  three  months  before  the  vote  was  to  be 
taken.  Congress  objected  to  the  boundaries  as  prescribed  by  the  constitution 
as  creating  too  large  a  state.  The  annexation  of  Texas,  with  a  proviso  for 
forming  four  additional  states  out  of  it,  was  then  pending.  The  northern 
members  felt  that  more  free  states  should  be  created  to  keep  the  balance  of 
power  between  the  North  and  the  South.  In  the  house  of  representatives  the 
larger  boundaries  were  supported  by  the  delegate  from  the  territory,  A.  C. 
Dodge.  The  delegates  from  Ohio  advocated  keeping  Iowa  about  the  size  of 
their  state.  Samuel  F.  Vinton  in  a  speech  declared  that,  "it  was  the  true  inter- 
est of  the  people  of  the  JNIississippi  valley,  that  new  states  should  be  of  rea- 
sonable dimensions."  He  appealed  to  the  western  members  "'to  check  that  legis- 
lation, which  had  heretofore  deprived  the  West  of  its  due  representation  in 
the  senate."     The  result  of  these  debates  was  to  reduce  the  proposed  bound- 


56  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

aries.  The  bill  for  statehood  as  finally  passed  fixed  the  western  boundary  at 
about  the  present  site  of  the  city  of  Des  jMoines,  while  the  northern  boundary 
extended  to  the  Blue  Earth  river.  Assent  to  this  reduction  of  boundaries  was 
made  a  condition  of  the  admission  of  the  state  into  the  Union.  When  that 
assent  was  given,  the  president  was  to  announce  the  fact,  and  the  admission 
of  Iowa  into  the  Union  was  to  be  considered  complete.  It  was  arranged  that 
Florida  should  be  admitted  at  the  same  time  as  Iowa.  Florida,  a  slave  state, 
had  been  waiting  seven  years  to  have  a  free  state  ready  to  come  into  the  Union 
with  it;  and  now  that  Iowa  applied  for  admission,  it  was  arranged  that^he 
two  states  should  come  into  the  Union  together  under  the  same  act.  Iowa 
rejected  the  condition  imposed  by  congress  and  remained  a  territory.  Even 
Texas  was  annexed  before  Iowa  came  in.  Strong  as  was  their  desire  to  come 
into  the  Union,  the  desire  for  large  boundaries  conquered.  It  was  in  vain  that 
Augustus  Caesar  Dodge,  fearing  the  predominance  of  the  slave  states  in  con- 
gress, plead  with  them  to  accept  the  restricted  boundaries  and  thus  add  another 
free  state  to  the  Union.  As  a  vote  for  the  constitution  would  involve  assent 
to  the  boundaries  enacted  by  congress,  the  people  voted  against  the  constitu- 
tion by  a  majority  of  996  votes,  and  the  governor  by  proclamation  announced 
its  rejection. 

In  his  message  to  the  seventh  legislative  assembly  Governor  Chambers,  advised 
the  calling  of  another  constitutional  convention.  The  assembly,  however,  in 
chagrin  and  vexation,  passed  a  law,  over  the  governor's  veto,  to  submit  the  rejected 
constitution  to  another  election,  with  a  sophistical  proviso,  that,  "its  ratification 
was  not  to  be  construed  as  an  adoption  of  the  boundaries  proposed  by  congress." 
The  people  were  still  confused  over  the  issue  and  rather  than  go  wrong,  again 
rejected  the  constitution,  this  time  by  a  vote  of  7,235  for  and  7,656  against. 

On  the  eighteenth  of  November,  1845,  by  the  appointment  of  President  Polk, 
James  Clarke  succeeded  John  Chambers  as  governor  of  the  territory.  Clarke 
was  a  native  of  Pennsylvania,  but  had  come  to  Burlington  in  1837  and  established 
the  "Iowa  Territorial  Gazette."'  The  paper  continues  to  the  present  day,  the 
oldest  newspaper  now  published  in  Iowa.  The  eighth  legislative  assembly  of 
Iowa  Territory  convened  December  i,  1845.  It  submitted  to  the  people  the 
question  of  another  convention  to  frame  a  constitution.  The  people  voted  in 
favor  of  holding  such  a  convention  ;  and  the  convention  met  ]\Iay  4,  1846.  A  com- 
promise as  to  boundaries  was  agreed  upon.  Congress  repealed  its  former  action, 
and  in  lieu  of  the  boundaries  it  had  prescribed,  gave  Iowa  the  Missouri  and  Big 
Sioux  rivers  as  her  western  boundary,  and  the  parallel  of  forty-three  degrees 
and  thirty  minutes  as  the  northern  boundary.  These  constitute  the  boundaries 
of  the  present  state  of  Iowa.  The  constitutional  convention  in  defining  bound- 
aries used  the  identical  wording  of  the  act  of  congress.  Upon  submission  to 
the  vote  of  the  people  the  constitution  was  adopted  by  a  vote  of  9,492  for  and 
9,036  against.  The  election,  under  the  new  state  constitution,  was  held  October 
26,  1846.  Ansel  Briggs,  a  Vermont  Yankee,  a  stage  driver,  a  democrat,  and  a 
hater  of  banks  and  banking  was  elected  the  first  governor  of  the  state  of  Iowa. 
The  first  general  assembly  convened  November  30,  1846,  and  on  December  3,  the 
territorial  organization  gave  way  to  that  of  the  state. 

December  15,  1846,  the  delegates  from  the  territory  of  Iowa  presented  the 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  57 

constitution  of  the  new  state  to  congress,  and  on  the  twenty-eighth  of  the  same 
month,  President  Polk  signed  the  bill  by  which  "The  state  of  Iowa  was  admitted 
and  received  into  the  Union."  Thus  Iowa,  the  twenty-ninth  state  in  the  Union 
and  the  fourth  state  created  out  of  the  Louisiana  Purchase,  became  the  "First 
free  state  in  the  Louisiana  Purchase." 


CHAPTER  VI 
THE  COMING  OF  THE  WHITE  MAN 

"the  dragoons'  trail" THROUGH  WEBSTER  COUNTY  IN   1848 THE  LOTT  TRAGEDY 

GOVERNMENT  SURVEYS THE  FIRST  SETTLERS REV.  JOHN  JOHNS THE  FIRST 

MARRIAGE,      BIRTH      AND      DEATH MARKING      THE      GRAVE      OF      MRS.      LOTT 

POPULATION   IN    1853. 

The  first  white  men  upon  the  soil  of  Webster  county, — at  least  so  far  as  we 
have  any  historic  records, — were  an  exploring  party  of  the  First  United  States 
Dragoons,  who  passed  through  the  country  in  1835.  The  Dragoons  were  a  mil- 
itary organization  created  by  Congress  in  March,  1833.  They  were  enlisted  from 
nearly  every  state  in  the  Union.  Their  commanding  officer  was  Colonel  Henry 
Dodge.  The  Lieutenant  Colonel  was  Stephen  W.  Kearney.  One  of  the  captains 
was  Nathan  Boone,  and  Albert  M.  Lea  w^as  a  lieutenant.  The  rendezvous  w^as 
Jefferson  Barracks  near  St.  Louis.  Four  distinct  exploring  expeditions  were 
made  by  the  dragoons.  The  first  was  from  Jeft'erson  Barracks  to  Fort  Gibson. 
The  second  was  from  Fort  Gibson  to  the  Pawnee  village  on  the  Red  river  and 
back.  The  third  was  from  Fort  Gibson  to  Fort  Des  ']Moines  in  Lee  county,  Iowa ; 
and  the  fourth  was  from  Fort  Des  ]\Ioines  to  Wabashaw's  village  in  ]\Iinnesota 
and  back.  It  was  this  last  expedition  in  the  year  1835  that  passed  through  what 
is  now  \\'ebster  county  on  its  return  trip.  It  was  a  march  of  1,100  miles  by 
Companies  "B,"  "H"  and  "I,"  under  the  command  of  Lieutenant  Colonel  Kearney. 
On  June  7,  1835,  this  detachment  left  Fort  Des  Moines  and  marched  between  the 
Des  !\Ioines  and  Skunk  rivers  to  near  the  mouth  of  Boone  river.  Then  taking 
a  northeasterly  course  they  arrived  at  Wabashaw's  village  on  the  Mississippi 
river  in  [Minnesota.  After  remaining  here  about  a  week  the  company  marched 
westw^ardly.  Then  taking  a  southerly  course  they  reentered  Iowa  in  Kossuth 
county  and  reached  the  Des  Moines  river.  Here  at  the  close  of  the  day's  march, 
Monday,  August  3,  1835,  they  camped  near  the  present  site  of  Rutland  in  Hum- 
boldt county.  The  next  day  they  marched  some  twenty  miles  and  this  time  made 
camp  on  the  North  Lizard  creek  in  Webster  county.  Descending  the  river  on  its 
western  side  the  dragoons  reached  Fort  Des  jNIoines  August  19,  1835,  without  a 
case  of  sickness  or  the  loss  of  a  single  horse  or  man. 

Fifteen  years  later  this  same  route  was  followed  by  another  body  of  United 
States  soldiers  on  their  way  north  to  establish  a  fort  at  the  mouth  of  the  Lizard 
creek,  and  which  afterwards  became  the  fort  and  city  of  Fort  Dodge.  A  few 
years  more  and  tne  stage  line  followed  the  same  path,  which  by  this  time  had 
become  known  among  the  early  settlers  as  the  "Dragoons'  Trail." 

Records  of  this  expedition  of  the  First  United  States  Dragoons  have  survived 

Vol.  1—5 

59 


60  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

in  several  geographical  names  in  Iowa.  Lieutenant  Lea  afterwards  published 
an  account  of  his  observations  under  the  title  of  "Notes  on  Wisconsin  Territory." 
In  this  work  he  christened  that  part  of  the  country  lying  west  of  the  Mississippi 
river  the  "Iowa  District."  His  account  of  the  richness  and  beauty  of  the  upper 
Des  jMoines  country  no. doubt  had  much  to  do  with  turning  the  attention  of  the 
immisfrant  and  settler  toward  Iowa. 


*t>' 


THROUGH  W^EBSTER  COUNTY  IN   1848 

Among  the  papers  of  the  late  Edwin  Goddard  of  Keosauqua,  Iowa,  there  was 
found  a  part  of  a  journal  descriptive  of  a  journey  along  the  Upper  Des  Moines 
valley  in  the  year  1848.  The  author  is  unknown,  yet  the  journal  is  valuable  for 
the  minute  description  which  it  gives  of  the  country  at  that  early  date. 

The  opening  lines  of  the  journal  give  January  28,  1848,  at  nine  o'clock  in  the 
morning  as  the  time  of  leaving  Fort  Des  Moines.  The  party  consisted  of  three, 
the  unknown  author,  A.  Randall,  and  a  man  by  the  name  of  Lott.  They 
followed  the  river  very  closely  in  their  journey.  The  journal  mentions  the  party 
as  having  reached  Mineral  Ridge  in  Boone  county,  and  then  makes  the  first  men- 
tion of  Webster  county,  which  they  entered  one  mile  north  of  the  Ridge,  at  the 
township  corners  of  townships  85  and  86,  ranges  26  and  27.  The  trip  through 
Webster  county  is  best  described  in  the  language  of  the  writer,  who  says : 

"One  mile  north  of  the  Ridge  the  prairie  again  stretches  several  miles  west 
toward  the  Des  Moines  river.    It  is  flat  and  has  a  great  number  of  ponds,  and  the 
rout  is  many  times  circuatous,  at  about  4  miles  from  the  Ridge  past  an  elevated 
mound  2^2  or  3  miles  east  in  the  flat  prairie  at  5  miles  prairie  runs  up  to  bluff 
150  feet  high  generally  not  so  abrupt  as  to  prevent  the  growth  of  timber  on  it. 
The  prairie  bear  a  N.  E.  course  from  this  bluff',  the  river  here  lunning  S.  S.  W. 
fine  looking  prairie  both  bottom  and  bottom   and  upland  on  the  opposite  side 
interspersed  with  groves  of  good  timber  fine  spring  along  the  Bluffs  one  mile 
north  of  this  place  is  the  mouth  of  the  East  fork,  or  Boons,  or  as  called  on  some 
maps  Cottonwood,  River,  not  so  large  as  Racoon  river  probably  makes  I/4  of  the 
Des  Moines  below  it.     On  the  Bottom  above  the  mouth  of  this  stream  are  two 
considerable  mounds  supposed  to  be  artificial  one  of  an  oblong  shape  the  Bottoms 
are  from  one  half  to  one  mile  in  wedth  then  the  bluff  rising  to  the  level  of  the 
prairie  so  steep  that  it  is  not  convenient  to  ride  up  them.     About  one  half  mile 
above  the  East  fork  on  the  E.  side  of  the  desMoines  is  the  furthes  up  that  any 
settlement  has  been  made.     Henry  Lott  settled  here  in  the  spring  of  46  and  was 
robbed  by  the  Sioux  Indians  in  the  latter  part  of  that  year  and  has  abandoned 
it  for  the  present.    On  the  top  of  the  ridge  east  of  the  house  where  Lott  lived  is 
a  level  prairie.     I  think  it  is  one  of  the  prettyest  I  have  seen  on  the  river,  it  is 
dry  so  what  (lower)  in  the  middle  and  has  the  best  quality  of  timber  around  it. 
North  after  crossing  a  narrow  belt  of  timber  the  prairie  stretches  of  N.  E.  between 
a  small  creek  and  the  East  fork.    The  prairie  appear  to  be  good  with  fewer  ponds. 
Above  Lotts  2  miles  is  the  mouth  of  a  creek  20  feet  wide  falling  into  the  Des 
Moines,    on  the  creek  near  the  mouth  the  Sioux  Indians  robbed  Henry  Nothing- 
ton  and  Boman  last  fall.     On  mile  farther  up  the  river  at  the  foot  of  a  steep 
hill  175  feet  high  is  the  line  of  the  Neutral  Land  the  present  location  of  the 
Winebago  tribe  of  Indians.    The  course  of  River  south  on  west  side  from  ^  to  ^ 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  61 

wide  but  little  timber  on  the  bottom — back  from  river  said  to  be  of  first  rat 
quality  extending  3  or  4  miles  west,  one  and  a  half  miles  further  north  the 
River  make  a  great  bend  to  the  west.  Prairie  bears  N.  E.  up  brushy  creek.  This 
prairie  is  of  better  quality  than  any  I  have  seen  above  the  fork  of  Coon  and  Des 
Moines  considering  its  extent,  though  it  would  generally  be  thought  to  wet  in 
many  places  for  cultivation. 

"There  are  many  desirable  locations  around  this  prairie  for  making  farms  the 
best  quality  of  oak  timber  around  the  head  of  the  ravines,  all  of  which  are 
abundently  supplied  with  springs.  At  a  point  9  or  10  miles  above  the  Neutral 
line  the  prairie  bears  off  N.  W.  where  we  presume  the  mouth  of  Lizard  to  be  we 
will  see  however  when  we  reach  it.  All  the  points  round  this  prairie  with  but  few 
exceptions  present  fair  prospects  for  settlements  The  only  thing  objectionable  is 
the  number  of  little  ponds  met  with  the  moment  yoti  leave  the  timber  in  many 
parts  of  the  country.  The  River  timber  here  is  from  2  to  5  miles  wide  in  most 
places  and  of  good  quality.  After  leaving  the  point  last  spoken  of  we  come  some 
5  or  6  miles  N.  W.  to  this  point  and  camped  at  the  hed  of  ravine  at  the  timber, 
quite  a  handsome  location  for  a  farm  provided  a  man  wished  to  make  one  here. 
"July  1st,  1848.  This  morning  we  visited  the  river  from  which  we  are  now 
about  one  mile.  The  bottom  on  this  side  is  not  more  than  y^  of  a  mile  wide  blufif 
on  the  west  side  washed  by  the  river.  Here  on  a  small  Brook  at  an  elevation  of 
80  feet  above  the  river  is  deposits  of  Plaster  Paris  to  the  depth  of  18  or  20  feet 
which  appear  to  be  of  good  quality  it  is  found  in  abundance  on  both  sides  of  the 
river  and  appears  to  be  inexhaustible.  The  place  may  be  known  by  a  bluff  on  the 
west  side  that  has  been  nearly  cut  away  by  a  brook  the  lower  end  is  elevated  from 
the  river  about  30  feet,  and  up  the  river  it  rises  abruptly  present  an  appearance 
of  coal  and  Iron  (bank)  on  that  point  is  the  (nearest  plaster)  that  is  found  to 
the  river.  The  river  at  this  point  runs  S.  S.  E.  is  about  250  or  300  feet  wide  from 
on  to  2  feet  deep  brisk  current,  handsom  banks  and  bottom,  by  a  more  minute 
exanrination  the  Gypsum  is  found  to  extend  farther  up  the  brook  on  the  East  said 
(side)  and  compose  quite  bluffs  on  each  side  of  the  same  som  places  to  the 
height  of  20  feet.  A  strata  of  soft  sandstone  lies  a  few  feet  below.  The  ridge 
between  the  Brook  &  the  river  is  flat  and  rich  covered  with  a  growth  of  hickory 
Lind  Black  Walnut  red  oak  &  about  the  bluff's  Lind  white  walnut  sugar  tree  Iron- 
wood.  On  top  of  flat  white  oak  and  near  prairie  bur  oak  &  hickory.  The  Soil  is 
better  here  than  general  in  timber  and  is  mostly  covered  with  pea  vine  and  other 
vegetation  denoting  good  soil. 

"July  2nd.  After  making  more  thorough  examination  of  the  Plaster  Paris 
this  morning  which  we  find  more  abundant  than  had  been  anticipated,  we  travel 
N.  W'.  3  miles  and  passing  two  points  of  timber  on  our  left  a  high  grove  on  the 
right,  we  strike  the  Des  Moines  bearing  S.  30°  E.  this  we  suppose  to  be  the 
point  at  which  the  centre  line  of  the  Neutral  Ground  crosses  the  river,  on  its 
continuation  towards  Lake  Boyer.  Round  the  points  and  the  curves  in  the  timber 
are  some  of  the  most  desirable  locations  for  farms  that  I  have  met  with  on  the 
DesMoines.  The  prairie  rises  buti fully  from  the  timber  Surface  undulating  but 
very  few  of  those  basins  or  ponds  so  commonly  met  with  farther  South.  The 
soil  is  dry  and  rich  and  the  timber  adjoining  of  the  quality  of  white  Bur  and  Red 
oak,  some  hickory,  good  water  is  found  in  all  the  points  of  timber. 


62  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

"The  prairie  here  runs  up  on  both  sides  to  the  margin  of  the  river,  where 
it  slopes  down  to  the  waters  edge  making  a  bank  of  from  i8  to  25  feet  high  to 
the  level  of  the  bottom,  the  bottom  are  from  3  to  600  yards  wide  generally  rising 
back  towards  the  hills  dry  &  suitable  for  cultivation,  the  hills  back  of  this  rise 
from  75  to  90  or  100  feet  but  not  so  abruptly  as  to  prevent  travelling  any  direc- 
tion over  them. 

"The  scenery  at  this  place  is  the  finest  I  have  seen  on  the  river  from  the  hills 
the  Des  Moines  is  to  be  seen  for  3  miles  winding  its  course  through  the  green 
prairie,  with  a  stripe  of  a  deeper  hue  immeat  the  edge  of  the  water.  The  current 
is  brisk  but  not  rapid  width  250  to  300  feet,  opposite  where  we  touched  the  river 
is  a  bluff  of  dark  courled  slat  or  shale  w'ith  a  small  grove  of  timber  extending  a 
short  distance  back,  the  prairie  here  bears  N.  W.  we  north  to  point  one  mile  The 
prairie  here  bears  west  to  river  which  makes  a  considerable  bend  west.  N. 
some  West  over  rolling  dry  prairie  strike  the  river  from  north  one  mile  along 
prairie  bottom  on  both  sides  reach  a  rocky  Branch  12  or  15  feet  wide  not  much 
water,  above  this  a  low  bluff  sets  in  on  the  side  for  ^  mile  limestone  from  20  to 
30  feet  high,  west  side  prairie  timber  between  the  bluff  and  creek  back  some  dis- 
tance, here  prairie  comes  again  to  the  river  for  ^  mile  cours  N.  to  a  point  of 
timber  into  prairie  Timber  on  west  side  of  river  running  out  some  distance, 
from  description  must  be  the  place  where  the  Sioux  Indians  murdered  the  Dela- 
wares  in  1841.  one  mile  strike  river  at  the  head  of  prairie  bottom  at  a  rapid  where 
the  river  fall  probably  2  feet  in  100  yards  over  a  bed  of  limestone,  open  prairie 
on  the  west  and  a  sandstone  bluff  timber  as  far  as  we  can  se  upon  this  side. 
Think  the  East  fork  must  be  within  a  few  miles. 

"From  here  we  followed  a  north  west  cours  struck  timber  at  the  distance 
of  }i.  of  a  mile  and  a  Brook  8  or  10  feet  wide  from  N.  E.  and  one  half  mile 
travel  north  brought  us  to  the  mouth  of  Lizard  creek  a  small  stream  from  the  west* 
from  30  to  50  feet  wnde  near  the  or  at  the  mouth  surrounded  wath  high  hills  and 
limestone  bed  and  banks  to  the  height  of  several  feet.  This  is  a  good  mill  stream 
and  in  the  afternoon  as  we  traveled  over  the  hills  considerable  bodies  of  timber 
were  perceptible  on  and  about  in  vally. 

"Cours  from  here  N.  E.  at  i/4  mile  bluff'  approaches  river  at  130  feet  high 
sand  stone  shale,  and  here  the  plaster  paris  again  makes  it  appearance  though  not 
in  such  quantities  as  below.  After  ascending  the  bluff'  and  passing  14  ^^^^  over  a 
flat  rich  soil  well  timbered  wnth  Bur  and  red  oak.  Elm,  Lind  hackberry  &  some 
sugar  tree  a  butiful  prairie  of  small  extent  streches  of  East  rich  dry  and  level 
surrended  except  the  S.  E.  end  with  the  kind  of  timber  spoken  of  of  all  the 
desirable  places  I  have  seen  this  I  think  excels  We  passed  the  west  end  and  con- 
tinuing our  course  through  the  woods  one  mile  struck  the  open  prairie,  con- 
siderable timber  off  east  on  the  head  of  brook  passt  below  the  mouth  of  Lizard. 
"July  3d  1848.  Start  at  10  o'clock  persue  a  N.  E.  course  over  the  bluff  through 
timber  the  bluff  is  some  40  feet  high  the  lind  (land)  running  back  level  as  far 
as  we  could  se  for  the  thick  growth  of  timber,  good  soil,  covered  with  a 
tolerable  growth  of  Red  &  Bur  oak  Elm  hickory  some  lind  &  Ironwood  small 
brook  from  the  East  rocky  bottom  but  little  water.  2  miles  cross  river  and  leave 
bottom  course  north  over  dry  rolling  prairie    Timljer  at  points  on  E  side  of  river 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  63 

and  at  3  miles  appear  to  be  a  small  creek  falling  in  from  east,  could  not  tell  the 
size.  About  5  miles  reach  the  Moingonan  or  Brother  fork  it  is  difficult  to  tell 
at  the  junction  which  is  the  larger  of  the  two  rivers." 

So  far  as  Webster  county  is  concerned,  there  is  nothing  further  in  the  journal. 


THE  LOTT  TRAGEDY 

By  C.  L.  Lucas 

Of  all  the  men  who  acted  a  part  in  the  early  settlement  of  the  Des  Aloines 
valley,  there  is  no  name  around  wdiich  clusters  so  much  thrilling  history  as  that 
of  Henry  Lott.  Much  has  been  said  and  written  about  him  and  his  troubles 
and  conflicts  with  the  Sioux  Indians,  and  the  death  of  his  wife  and  son,  that  are 
more  or  less  conflicting,  and  as  time  goes  on  these  divergent  stories  seem  to  become 
more  numerous. 

•  In  writing  up  a  sketch  of  history,  great  care  should  be  taken  to  get  the  facts 
just  as  they  occurred,  without  additions  or  subtractions.  If  this  were  done  there 
would  be  but  few  conflicting  stories  going  the  rounds,  and  disputes  about  them 
would  be  seldom  heard. 

Henry  Lott  was  born  in  the  state  of  Pennsylvania  and  grew  to  manhood  and 
was  married  there.  His  wife  was  a  widow  named, Huntingdon,  and  was  the 
mother  of  a  son  by  her  first  husband,  who  acted  a  very  prominent  part  in  the 
subsequent  history  of  the  Lott  family.  By  the  second  marriage  another  son  was 
born  whose  untimely  death,  and  the  facts  that  surround  it,  make  up  the  chief  theme 
of  this  story. 

We  first  heard  of  Lott  in  Iowa,  in  the  spring  of  1843,  ^^  which  time  he 
was  acting  the  role  of  an  Indian  trader  at  Red  Rock,  in  what  is  now  Alarion 
county,  Iowa.  At  that  place,  it  is  said,  he  did  a  thriving  business  until  the  nth 
of  October,  1845,  ^^  which  date,  according  to  the  treaty  of  1842,  the  Sac  and 
Fox  Indians  bid  adieu  to  Iowa,  and  moved  beyond  the  Missouri  river. 

So  well  pleased  was  Lott  with  his  success  as  an  Indian  trader  that  in  the 
summer  of  1846  he  moved  north  from  Red  Rock,  and  located  on  the  North  bank 
of  Boone  river,  near  its  mouth.  Here  he  expected  to  carry  on  a  thriving  business 
in  traffic  with  the  Sioux  Indians,  but  for  some  reason  he  did  not  get  along  so 
smoothly  with  them  as  he  did  with  the  Sacs  and  Foxes  at  Red  Rock.  There  are 
no  less  than  three  reasons  set  forth  as  the  origin  of  the  trouble  between  Lott  and 
Si-dom-i-na-do-tah  and  his  band  of  Sioux  Indians. 

The  author  of  the  Historic  Atlas,  in  his  sketch  of  Humboldt  county,  states 
that  the  Sioux  chief  informed  Lott  that  he  was  an  intruder;  that  he  had  settled 
on  the  Sioux  hunting  grounds,  and  that  he  gave  Lott  a  certain  time  to  get  ofT. 
That  his  refusal  to  go  by  the  time  set  brought  on  the  raid  upon  his  family  and 
stock.  The  Union  Historical  company,  in  their  sketch  of  the  Indian  chiefs  of 
Iowa,  make  the  same  statement. 

If  the  Sioux  chief  made  this  statement  to  Lott,  he  either  uttered  a  falsehood,  or 
else  he  did  not  know  what  he  w^as  talking  about.  Lott  may  have  been  a  bad  man, 
but  he  was  not  an  intruder,  nor  had  he  located  upon  the  Sioux  hunting  grounds. 


64  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

According  to  W.  S.  Tanner's  map,  published  in  1838,  the  Sioux  hunting  grounds 
did  not  extend  farther  than  the  upper  forks  of  the  Des  Moines  river,  at  least 
thirty  miles  north  of  where  Lott  had  located. 

Ex-Lieutenant  Governor  B.  F.  Gue,  in  his  "Historic  Sketch  of  Iowa,"  says 
that  Lett's  cabin  was  the  headquarters  of  a  band  of  horse  thieves,  who  stole 
horses  from  the  settlers  in  the  valley  below  the  mouth  of  Boone  river,  and  ponies 
from  the  Indians  above  it.  and  that  they  ran  them  across  the  state  east  to  the 
Mississippi  river,  and  sold  them.  Mr.  Gue  seems  to  think  that  it  was  this  wrong- 
ful taking  of  the  Indian  ponies  that  brought  the  wrath  of  Si-dom-i-na-do-tah  and 
his  painted  warriors  upon  the  Lott  family.  There  is  still  another  traditional  story 
to  the  effect  that  Lott  had  sold  the  Indians  whiskey,  upon  which  they  became 
intoxicated  and  while  in  that  state  the  destruction  of  the  property  and  the  death 
of  two  innocent  members  of  the  family  was  the  result  of  their  acts  of  cruelty. 

Amid  these  conflicting  statements  it  is  next  to  impossible  to  get  at  the  exact 
cause  which  brought  about  the  trouble,  but  it  is  certain  that  the  horrible  attack  was 
made,  and  that,  too,  by  a  band  of  Sioux  Indians  who  were  miles  beyond  the 
borders  of  their  hunting  grounds,  and  intruders  upon  territory  already  ceded  to 
the  United  States  by  the  Sac  and  Fox  Indians,  and  open  for  settlement. 

No  statement  has  been  made  as  to  the  manner  in  which  the  attack  was  made, 
but  it  is  safe  to  conclude  that  the  savage  warriors  were  painted  in  their  usual 
hideous  style,  and  that  as  they  approached  the  cabin  the  stillness  of  the  moment 
was  broken  by  their  piercing  yells  which  never  fail  to  send  terror  to  the  hearts  of 
their  defenseless  victims.  Lott  told  Doras  Eslick,  who  settled  near  the  scene 
of  this  horror  a  few  years  later,  that  he  concealed  himself  across  the  river  and 
watched  the  Indians  destroy  his  property  for  a  while,  but  as  he  could  do  nothing 
in  the  way  of  defending  his  family  or  property  against  a  whole  band  of  Indians, 
he  and  his  stepson,  a  youth  about  sixteen  years  old.  fled  to  the  nearest  settlement  to 
obtain  help.  This  left  the  wife  and  twelve  year  old  son  alone.  The  Indians 
ordered  this  twelve  year  old  boy  to  catch  all  the  horses  on  the  place  and  deliver 
them  over,  on  the  penalty  of  death.  This  so  frightened  the. poor  boy  that  he 
fled  terror  stricken  down  the  Des  Moines  river  and  was  never  seen  alive  again. 
The  poor  wife  and  mother  was  now  left  alone  to  the  mercy  of  the  savage  war- 
riors. Some  say  she  fled  into  the  thick  timber  to  escape  the  tomahawk,  while 
others  say  she  remained  in  the  cabin  and  piteously  offered  her  plea  for  mercy. 
Be  this  as  it  may,  her  life  for  some  reason  was  spared  by  the  Indians,  so  far  as 
actual  violence  was  concerned,  but  the  shock  upon  her  nervous  system,  and  the 
grief  and  exposure  she  suffered,  carried  her  off  within  a  week  or  so  later. 

It  was  three  days  before  Lott  returned  from  the  settlements  below  with 
twenty-six  friendly  Indians  belonging  to  Johnny  Green's  tribe  of  Musquawkies 
and  Pottawattamies,  then  camped  on  the  river  below  Elk  Rapids,  and  seven  of  the 
white  settlers.  The  names  of  those  settlers  were  Dr.  Spears,  who  lived  on  a  claim 
near  where  the  Rees  coal  shaft  is  situated,  and  John  Pea  and  Jacob  Pea,  his  son, 
James  Hull  and  William  Hull  of  Pea's  Point,  and  John  M.  Crooks  and  W^illiam 
Crooks,  who  lived  on  the  Myers  farm  south  of  Boone. 

When  these  settlers  and  the  twenty-six  friendly  Indians  reached  the  mouth 
of  the  Boone  river  they  found  that  Si-dom-i-na-do-tah,  after  plundering  the 
cabin  and  killing  and  wounding  some  of  Lott's  cattle,  had  retreated  up  the  valley 
with  his  plunder  and  all  the  horses  he  could  lay  hands  on,  and  was  now  at  a  safe 


MR8.  HENRY  LOTT  MONUMENT 

First  white  woman  settler  in  Webster  Connty.     Died  from  exposnre  iu 

Indian  raid — Buried  Vegor's  cemetery,  Webster  township. 

Erected  by  Old  Settlers  Picnic  Ass-ociation  of  Bell's 

Mill,  September  9,  1911 


THE  NEW  YORK 
PUBLIC     LIBRARY 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  65 

distance.  Thev  found  ]Mrs.  Lott  in  a  sorrowful  condition,  more  dead  than  alive. 
She  liad  been  left  alone  nearly  three  days  in  that  wild  country,  not  knowing  what 
had  become  of  the  rest  of  the  family,  nor  what  moment  the  Indians  would  return 
to  the  cabin.  We  can  never  know  how  crushing  was  the  grief  and  sorrow  that 
fell  to  the  lot  of  this  poor  w^oman  during  those  three  lonely  days  and  nights,  with 
no  one  to  administer  to  her  wants,  or  speak  to  her  a  word  of  cheer.  In  a  short 
time  death  came  to  her  relief,  and  she  was  laid  to  rest  on  the  Boone  river  bluff 
and  her  grave  is  pointed  out  unto  this  day. 

Finding  that  their  services  were  not  needed,  the  twenty-six  friendly  Indians 
and  all  of  the  settlers  except  John  Pea  returned  home.  He  remained  behind  to 
assist  Lott  and  his  stepson  in  caring  for  the  sick  wife  and  mother,  and  in  finding 
Milton  Lott.  the  twelve  year  old  son,  who  had  fled  down  the  river. 

It  was  the  middle  of  December,  1846,  when  the  raid  was  made  upon  the 
family ;  the  weather  was  cold  and  the  river  was  frozen  over.  There  was  snow 
both  upon  the  ice  and  on  the  ground  and  they  followed  the  boy's  tracks.  He  was 
thinlv  clad  when  he  left  home  and  without  doubt  suffered  with  cold  from  the 
start.  Henry  Lott.  the  father,  and  John  Pea  followed  his  tracks  until  they 
reached  a  point  about  forty  rods  below  the  mouth  of  a  little  creek  which  comes 
into  the  Des  Moines  river  a  short  distance  below  the  village  of  Centerville,  where 
they  found  the  dead  body  of  the  unfortunate  boy,  stiff"  and  still  in  the  embrace 
of  the  piercing  frost.  At  this  place  he  had  attempted  to  climb  the  bench  that 
separates  the  lower  and  upper  bottoms,  but  was  so  benumbed  with  cold  that  he  fell 
backward  and  was  unable  to  rise  again.  Xot  having  any  way  to  convey  the  body 
to  any  of  the  settlements,  they  decided  to  place  it  in  a  hollow  log  which  they 
found  near  by  and  close  the  entrance  with  timbers  so  as  to  prevent  the  wild 
animals  from  molesting  it  until  such  time  as  a  burial  in  the  proper  way  could  take 
place.    The  date  on  which  the  body  was  found  was  December  18,  1846. 

The  body  remained  in  the  log  until  the  14th  of  January,  1847,  almost  a  month 
from  the  time  it  was  placed  there.  Henry  Lott,  the  father,  came  down  from 
Boone  river  to  Pea's  Point  on  the  13th  to  attend  the  burial  of  his  son.  The 
14th  was  Sunday;  the  weather  had  moderated  and  the  day  was  warm  and  beau- 
tiful ;  warmer  by  many  degrees  than  the  day  on  which  the  poor  boy  met  his  death. 
At  this  date  the  county  was  not  organized  and  there  was  not  an  established 
road  in  its  borders.  With  axes,  spades  and  guns,  the  men  set  out  from  Pea's 
Point  afoot  for  the  place  of  burial,  a  distance  of  eight  miles.  The  names  of 
those  making  up  the  number  who  attended  the  funeral  were  John  Pea,  Sr.,  John 
,Pea,  Jr.,  Jacob  Pea,  Thomas  Sparks,  John  V^.  Crooks.  William  Crooks  and  Henry 
Lott,  the  father  of  the  boy.  On  arriving  at  the  place  where  the  body  had  been 
left,  a  part  of  the  men  were  detailed  to  dig  the  grave,  while  the  rest  of  them  felled 
a  tree,  out  of  which  they  hewed  enough  of  small  pieces  to  construct  a  rude  coffin. 
The  body  was  then  taken  from  the  hollow  log,  a  sheet  was  wrapped  around  it, 
and  it  was  then  lowered  into  the  grave ;  dirt  was  then  thrown  in,  the  grave  was 
filled  and  the  little  mound  was  rounded  up.  It  was  a  funeral  without  ceremonial 
word.  There  was  no  scripture  read ;  there  was  no  prayer  uttered  and  no  hymn 
sung ;  but  there  were  tears  in  the  eyes  of  those  pioneers  who  stood  around  the 
grave  of  Milton  Lott  and  paid  their  last  tribute  of  respect  to  him. 

The  tree  near  the  grave  on  wdiich  the  boy's  name  was  cut  has  long  since 
yielded  to  the  woodman's  axe.     No  stone  was  set  or  stake  driven  to  preserve  the 


66  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUXTY 

identity  of  the  spot.     As  time  passed  on  the  little  mound  was  brought  to  a  level 
with  the  surrounding  surface  and  the  identity  of  the  grave  was  lost  and  forgotten. 

After  the  death  of  his  wife  and  son,  Lott  gathered  up  what  property  the 
Indians  had  left  him  and  moved  south  to  the  settlements.  He  built  a  cabin  on 
O.  D.  Smalley's  claim  in  Dallas  county,  Iowa,  about  five  miles  southwest  of 
Madrid,  where  he  and  his  stepson  lived  during  the  spring  and  summer  of  1847. 
In  the  spring  of  that  year  the  first  assessment  of  Dallas  county  was  made.  In  the 
list  of  property  owners  appears  the  name  of  Henry  Lott,  to  whom  were  assessed 
thirteen  head  of  cattle.  The  records  show  that  he  was  the  largest  cattle  owner 
in  the  county  at  that  time,  owning  one  more  than  any  other  man.  These  were 
the  cattle  that  the  Sioux  Indians  tried  to  kill  at  the  mouth  of  Boone  river  by 
shooting  them  with  arrows.  During  the  spring  and  summer  these  cattle  grew 
fat  upon  the  range  and  in  the  fall  were  sold  for  beef.  A  man  named  Ramsey 
bought  one  of  these  beeves  and  butchered  it.  Mr.  Smalley  bought  a  front  cjuarter 
of  this  beef  and  while  carving  it  found  one  of  the  arrow  heads  which  the  Indians 
had  shot  into  it. 

While  living  here  Lott  often  spoke  of  his  dead  wife  in  a  very  sympathetic 
way,  but  would  usually  wind  up  his  talk  by  declaring  that  he  would  some  day 
wreak  vengeance  on  the  old  Sioux  chief  who  caused  her  death.  In  the  fall  of 
1847  he  moved  to  Fort  Des  Moines  and  remained  there  over  a  year,  during  which 
time  he  was  married  to  a  woman  named  McGuire.  In  the  spring  of  1849  he 
moved  north  and  located  at  the  mouth  of  Boone  river  again,  occupying  the  same 
log  cabin  in  which  his  first  wife  died,  and  from  which  his  twelve  year  old  son 
had  fled  from  the  Indians  never  more  to  be  seen  alive.  It  was  a  place  around 
which  the  gloomiest  recollections  hovered.  While  living  here  three  children  were 
born  to  him  and  his  second  wife,  the  two  oldest  being  girls  and  the  youngest  a 
boy.  At  the  birth  of  the  boy  the  wife  died,  making  it  necessary  for  him  to  find 
homes  for  the  children.  Her  death  occurred  December  10,  1851,  and  she  was 
buried  on  section  27,  in  Otho  township,  but  all  trace  of  her  grave  is  now  oblit- 
erated. The  infant  boy  was  adopted  by  a  family  named  White,  in  whose  care  he 
grew  to  manhood  and  is  now  the  head  of  a  family,  and  is  a  citizen  of  Boone, 
Iowa.  The  two  girls  were  raised  by  a  family  named  Dickerson  in  Boone  county, 
where  they  grew  to  womanhood  and  were  married. 

After  finding  homes  for  his  children  Lott  sold  his  possessions  at  the  mouth 
of  Boone  river,  and,  with  his  stepson,  in  the  fall  of  1853,  moved  north  forty-five 
miles  and  located  on  a  creek  which  still  bears  his  name.  Whether  by  purpose  or 
by  accident  he  was  once  more  a  neighbor  to  Si-dom-i-na-do-tah,  the  old  chief  he  so 
much  hated.  By  the  terms  of  the  treaty  with  the  Sioux  Indians  their  stay  upon 
the  territory  then  occupied  by  them  would  expire  the  following  spring,  at  which 
time  they  would  have  to  take  up  their  line  of  march  for  regions  farther  west.  If 
Lott  was  bent  on  having  revenge,  the  time  was  growing  short  in  which  to  get  it. 
Numerous  times  he  visited  the  chief  in  disguise  and  made  himself  agreeable  by 
giving  him  presents.  During  one  of  these  visits  to  the  wigwam  of  Si-dom-i-na- 
do-tah,  the  old  chief  unsuspectingly  exhibited  to  him  the  silverware  which  he 
took  from  Mrs.  Lott  at  the  mouth  of  Boone  river.  By  his  actions  and  expressions 
it  was  plain  that  he  regarded  them  as  a  trophy  of  a  great  victory.  The  sight  of 
this  silverware  brought  vividly  back  to  Lott's  mind  the  memory  of  his  dead 
wife  and  immediately  his  thirst  for  vengeance  was  aroused. 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  67 

This  silverware  consisted  of  a  set  of  silver  spoons  and  a  set  of  silver  knives 
and  forks,  which  were  a  present  to  Mrs.  Lott  by  Mr.  Huntington,  her  first  hus- 
band.    Mrs.  Lott  had  always  prized  them  very  highly. 

It  is  not  known  whether  the  killing  of  Si-dom-i-na-do-tah  and  his  family 
took  place  then  ^nd  there  or  not,  but  it  is  known  that  Lott  got  possession  of  the 
silverware,  for  he  exhibited  it,  when  he  reached  the  settlement,  to  John  Pea, 
William  Dickerson  and  O.  D.  Smalley.  He  also  told  each  of  these  men  that  the 
old  Sioux  chief  would  never  rob  another  house  or  cause  the  death  of  another 
innocent  woman. 

There  are  two  stories  told  as  to  the  manner  in  which  Lott  committed  this 
crime  of  murder,  for  murder  it  must  be  called.  Some  people  have  tried  to 
palliate  this  act  by  calling  it  justifiable  killing,  which  may  be  true  so  far  as  the 
killing  of  Si-dom-i-na-do-tah  is  concerned,  but  there  is  no  justification  in  the 
killing  of  his  family. 

One  story  is  that  the  killing  was  done  on  the  evening  the  chief  displayed  the 
stolen  silverware.  The  other  one  is  that  early  one  moriiing  he  went  to  the  wig- 
wam of  the  old  chief  and  reported  to  him  that  he  had  just  seen  in  a  beautiful 
valley  not  far  away  a  large  flock  of  elk  and  urged  the  chief  to  go  with  him  in 
pursuit  of  them.  This  proposition  so  aroused  his  love  for  the  chase  that  in  a 
short  time  he  was  astride  his  pony  and  on  the  way  to  the  beautiful  valley  where 
the  flock  of  elk  was  to  be  found.  But  this  story  was  only  a  ruse  to  get  the  chief 
a  short  distance  from  the  wigwam,  where  his  life  was  taken  and  the  pony  upon 
which  he  rode  passed  into  the  hands  of  a  new  owner.  Lott  then  went  back  to  the 
-wigwam  and  killed  the  chief's  family  and  he  and  his  stepson  made  their  escape 
to  the  settlements  without  being  detected  by  the  other  Indians  camped  near  by. 

So  wily  was  the  manner  in  which  this  crime  was  committed  that  it  took 
several  weeks  to  find  out  who  the  perpetrators  were,  but  in  time  the  facts 
developed  that  Lott  and  his  stepson  were  the  parties  who  did  the  killing.  The 
chief's  pony  was  found  in  their  possession  and  finally  they  were  indicted  by  a 
grand  jury  at  Des  Moines.  Before  the  ofificers  could  take  them  in  charge  they  left 
for  regions  farther  west  and  what  became  of  them  is  not  definitely  known. 

Granvilk  Berkeley,  pioneer  lawyer  of  Webster  City  and  also  of  the  earlier  town 
of  Homer,  the  first  county  seat  of  Webster  county,  secured  the  skull  of  Si-dom-i- 
na-do-tah  and  kept  it  several  years  in  his  ofiice.  This  skull  showed  many  fractures, 
as  though  the  head  had  been  banged  with  a  heavy  club.  Mr.  Berkeley  stated  that 
he  kept  this  ghastly  relic  because  the  murdered  man  had  been  his  friend. 

In  September,  1903,  almost  fifty-seven  years  after  the  death  of  ]vIilton  Lott, 
Mr.  C.  L.  Lucas  started  an  inquiry  through  the  press  seeking  to  gain  some 
information  as  to  the  location  of  the  grave  of  the  son  of  Henry  Lott.  This 
inquiry  developed  the  fact  that  two  men,  John  Pea  and  Thomas  Sparks,  who 
had  been  present  and  assisted  in  the  burial  of  the  body  of  the  dead  boy,  were 
still  living  in  the  city  of  Boone.  Independent  of  each  other  these  men  visited  the 
locality  where  the  grave  was  supposed  to  be  and  agreed  as  to  its  location.  The 
Madrid  Historical  Society  then  decided  to  permanently  mark  the  spot  and  Decem- 
ber 18,  1905,  erected  a  monument  thereon. 

The  grave  of  Mrs.  Lott  in  Otho  township  still  remains  unmarked. 


68  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

THE    "NEUTRAL    LINe"    AND    OTHER    SURVEYS 

The  "Neutral  Line,"  which  was  to  separate  the  warring  Sacs  and  Foxes  and 
the  Sioux  Indians,  was  surveyed  by  Captain  Nathan  Boone,  who  l)egan  the  survey 
April  19,  1832.  The  line  commenced  at  the  mouth  of  Trout  Run  on  the  Iowa 
river,  about  six  miles  below  Decorah.  His  next  point  was  in  or  near  section 
23-97-7,  ^i^cl  thence  to  the  Des  ]\Ioines  river.  The  latter  point  was  doul)tless 
at  the  confluence  of  the  east  and  west  forks  of  the  Des  'Moines,  some  three  miles 
below  Dakota  City.  The  remainder  of  the  treaty  line  to  the  Missouri  river  was 
never  run.  At  the  second  Prairie  du  Chien  council  of  July  15,  1830,  the  neutral 
strip  was  established,  being  a  tract  twenty  miles  in  width  each  side  of  the  "Neutral 
Line."  The  mere  "line"  had  not  been  sufficient  to  keep  the  Indian  tribes  apart. 
The  survey  of  the  southern  boundary  of  this  strip  was  begun  by  Captain  Boone. 
June  19,  1832.  He.  however,  had  proceeded  but  a  short  distance  when  he  was 
forced  to  stop  because  of  the  hostility  of  the  Indians.  September  8,  1833,  James 
Craig  resumed  the  survey  from  where  Captain  Boone  left  ofY,  and  completed  it  to 
the  Des  Moines  river.  The  southwest  corner  of  the  neutral  strip  was  in  section 
15-87-27.  at  McGuire's  Bend. 

In  1848  government  surveys  of  the  land  purchased  north-  of  the  Raccoon 
Forks  was  commenced.  James  ]\farsh  of  Dubuciue  set  out  from  that  place  to 
run  the  correction  line  from  a  point  on  the  Mississippi  near  Dubuque  west  to 
the  Missouri  river.  He  progressed  with  his  work  without  molestation  until  he 
and  his  company  crossed  the  Sioux,  or  Des  ]\Ioines  river,  when  they  were  met 
by  the  Sioux  Indians,  led  by  a  chief  named  Si-dom-i-na-do-tah  (generally  known 
afterwards  by  the  name.  "Two  Fingers"),  who  ordered  him  to  "pucachee," 
(clear  out.  be  off),  and  gave  him  to  understand  that  the  land  belonged  to  them  and 
that  he  should  proceed  no  farther.  The  Indians  then  left  the  surveying  squad  on 
the  west  bank  of  the  river. 

After  some  hesitation  Mr.  Marsh  concluded  to  proceed.  He  and  his  company 
had  not  proceeded  a  mile  from  the  river,  at  a  point  at  the  head  of  a  large  ravine 
south  of  the  section  line  of  section  30,  when  they  were  surrounded  by  the  Indians 
in  force.  The  Sioux  robbed  them  of  everything,  taking  their  horses,  breaking 
their  wagons  and  surveying  instruments.  The  savages  pulled  up  the  stakes  set 
by  the  party,  tone  down  the  mounds,  and  forced  the  party  back  across  the  river 
to  find  their  way  home  as  best  they  could.  This  surveying  party  under  Marsh 
was  not  provided  with  firearms  to  make  any  resistance.  The  whole  party 
had  with  them,  it  is  said,  but  one  or  two  guns  for  the  purpose  of  shooting  game ; 
consequently  they  surrendered  at  discretion.  When  the  Indians  surrounded  them, 
Mrs.  Marsh,  who  accompanied  her  husband,  was  the  only  one  of  the  party  who 
urged  resistance,  or  wanted  to  fight  the  savages.  She  protested  against  sub- 
mission to  the  last. 

THE   FIRST  SETTLERS 

The  first  settlers  in  Webster  county  located  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  mouth 
of  the  Boone  river.  At  that  time,  there  was  no  other  settlement  beyond  in  the 
entire  northwest.  It  was  on  the  frontier  of  civilization.  Henry  Lott.  who  was  the 
first,  came  in  the  summer  of  1846.  He  was  followed  b}'  Isaac  Bell,  L.  Mericle, 
Jacob  Mericle,  D.  B.  Spaulding,  Osborn  Brannon,  John  Tolman,  Frank  McGuire, 


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THE  NEW  YORK 
PUBLIC     LIBRARY 


AS''Or',   L'"MOX  AND 
TIlD    N    FOl-NDA' ions. 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  69 

S(juire  McGuire.  William  Pierce,  Tolman  Woolsey,  Samuel  Eslick,  Thomas 
Holliday,  E.  Gatchell  and  Philemon  Johnson.  These  settlers  came  principally  from 
Missouri,  North  Carolina  and  Indiana.     Three  or  four  came  from  New  York. 

\'ery  soon  after  the  settlement  was  begun  at  the  mouth  of  the  Boone  a  unique 
character  came  and  made  his  home  among-  them.  He  was  the  Rev.  John  Johns, 
an  itinerant  Baptist  preacher,  and  at  one  time  coroner  of  Webster  county.  He  was 
a  hunter  and  a  trapper.  He  could  preach  a  sermon  or  locate  a  bee  tree  with 
equal  success.  He  was  a  strong  Abolitionist.  As  a  delegate  to  the  Republican 
state  convention  which  met  in  Des  Moines,  in  18565  his  speech  was  the  ""hit" 
of  the  convention.  He  was  dressed  in  his  hunter's  garb,  and  this  furnished  some 
amusement  for  the  rest  of  the  delegates,  an  amusement  which,  however,  changed 
to  admiration  before  his  speech  ended.  He  had  a  tiery  eloquence  that  compelled 
attention,  and  he  was  talking  upon  a  theme  which  he  felt  deeply.  Although  not 
a  regular  delegate  to  the  national  convention,  yet  so  great  was  his  desire  to 
attend  that  he  walked  from  Border  Plains  to  Dubuque,  as  he  had  no  money  to 
pay  for  a  ride  on  the  stage.  He  still  wore  his  coon  skin  cap  and  carried  his  rifle, 
for  he  had  hunted  as  he  tramped  his  way  across  the  state.  At  Dubuque  he  secured 
a  passage  to  Chicago.  As  a  delegate  at  large,  he  was  a  member  of  the  Iowa  dele- 
gation, and  as  such  took  part  in  the  business  of  the  convention. 

The  first  child  born  in  the  county  was  Jackson  Mericle,  son  of  Jacob  Mericle. 
The  first  recorded  marriage  was  that  of  John  Jacob  Holmes,  hospital  steward  at 
the  fort,  and  Miss  Emily  Lyons,  housekeeper  for  the  officers,  on  ]\Iay  14,  1853. 
The  issuing  of  the  licen.se  was  the  first  official  act  of  Judge  W  illiam  Pierce.  The 
first  death  was  that  of  the  first  wife  of  Henry  Lott,  who  died  January  i,  1847, 
and  was  buried  on  the  summit  of  the  bluff  overlooking  the  junction  of  the  Boone 
and  Des  IMoines  rivers.  In  1852  the  spot  was  used  as  a  public  burying  ground  and 
became  known  as  Yegor's  cemetery.  The  grave  was  marked  by  a  grape  vine, 
which  it  is  said  Lott  himself  planted,  and  which  was  afterwards  kept  growing 
by  people,  who  knew  the  location  of  the  grave.  For  sixty  years  the  grave  was 
unmarked,  except  in  this  way.  At  the  meeting  of  the  Old  Settlers'  Picnic  Asso- 
ciation of  Bell's  Mill,  held  in  1908,  a  subscription  was  started  to  raise  funds  for 
the  purpose  of  erecting  a  monument  over  her  grave.  These  plans,  however, 
were  not  completed  until  three  years  later,  when  the  formal  dedication  took 
place,  September  9,  191 1.  The  monument  is  an  obelisk  of  solid  concrete,  bearing 
upon  one  side  an  iron  marker. 

Fort  Dodge,  or  as  first  named  Fort  Clarke,  was  established  in  1850,  chiefly 
because  of  the  annoyance  which  the  Indians  had  caused  the  early  settlers  and 
the  fear  that  they  might  do  worse.  Outside  of  the  troops  at  the  fort  the  popu- 
lation of  the  county  in  August.  1853.  was  but  150;  and  the  election  returns  for  the 
first  election,  held  the  same  month,  show  but  sixtv-three  voters. 


CHAPTER  VII 
ORGANIZATION  AND  GOVERNMENT  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

FIRST   COUXTY   ORGANIZATIONS — ^DUBUQUE   AND   DEMOINE    COUNTIES — ACT   OF   JAN- 
UARY   15,    185I    ESTABLISHES    FIFTY    COUNTIES    IN    IOWA YELL    AND    RISLEY — 

WEBSTER  BECOMES  LARGEST  COUNTY  IN  STATE — DUNCOMBE  VS.  PRINDLE — CLAIM 

CLUBS WHAT  CONSTITUTES  A   CLAIM — FIRST   COUNTY   OFFICERS COUNTY  SEAT 

LOCATED    AT    HOMER — FORT    DODGE    SECURES    COUNTY    SEAT ORGANIZATION    OF 

TOWNSHIPS — POLITICAL  DIVISIONS. 

ORGANIZATION  AND  GOVERNMENT  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

The  first  counties  in  the  present  state  of  Iowa  were  estabhshed  before  there 
was  any  state  or  even  territory  of  that  name.  While  the  history  of  the  forma- 
tion of  Webster  county  does  not  extend  back  this  far,  yet  in  order  to  get  a  clear 
understanding  of  the  history  of  how  Webster  county  came  to  be,  it  is  necessary 
to  go  back  to  this  early  time. 

In  the  ''Ordinance  for  the  Government  of  the  Territory  of  the  United  States 
northwest  of  the  river  Ohio,"  the  governor  of  the  territory  was  given  power  to 
lav  out  into  counties  and  townships  those  parts  of  the  districts  to  which  the  Indian 
titles  had  been  extinguished.  This  right  was  also  given  them  under  the  acts  of 
congress  which  established  the  territories  of  Indiana  and  Michigan.  The  last 
use  of  this  authority  was  by  Governor  Cass  in  his  proclamation  issued  Septem- 
ber 10,  1822.  The  next  counties  established  in  the  territory  were  created  in 
1826  and  1829  by  acts  of  the  legislative  council. 

Upon  the  admission  of  Missouri  to  the  Union  as  a  state  in  1821  the  country 
included  within  the  present  bounds  of  Iowa  was  left  without  any  established 
local  government.  Following  the  Black  Hawk  war  a  treaty  was  made  on  Sep- 
tember 21,  1832,  with  the  Sac  and  Fox  Indians  by  the  terms  of  which  there  was 
ceded  to  the  United  States  government  a  strip  of  territory  in  eastern  Iowa.  This 
district  was  vacated  by  the  Indians  and  officially  thrown  open  to  settlement  June 
I,  1833.  Immediately  a  large  number  of  prospective  settlers  entered  the  new 
purchase ;  indeed,  many  had  not  waited  for  the  date  of  the  official  opening. 
This  new  population  found  itself  "beyond  the  pale  of  constitutional  govern- 
ment.'' Some  violence  occurred.  Out  of  the  violence  grew  a  petition  to  con- 
gress asking  for  the  protection  of  the  federal  laws.  The  result  was  an  act  of 
congress  approved  on  June  28,  1834,  by  which  the  area  of  the  present  state  of 
Iowa  was,  "for  the  purpose  of  temporary  government,  attached  to,  and  made  a 
part  of.  the  territory  of  Michigan." 

71 


72  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

September  i,  1834,  the  legislative  council  met  in  extra  session  at  Detroit, 
where  it  had  been  convened  by  proclamation  of  the  governor.  In  the  message, 
which  the  governor  sent  the  council  on  the  second  day  of  the  session,  the  attention 
of  the  council  was  called  to  the  needs  of  the  people  west  of  the  Mississippi,  in  the 
territory  recently  attached  to  Michigan.  The  reference  was  clearly  to  the  inhab- 
itants of  the  Black  Hawk  Purchase,  since  no  other  territory  west  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi had,  as  yet,  been  thrown  open  to  settlement.  In  this  district,  the  gov- 
ernor recommended  the  establishment  of  counties,  townships,  and  courts.  In 
response  to  the  recommendation  of  the  governor,  the  legislative  council  passed 
an  act  entitled,  "An  act  tO'  lay  off  and  organize  c'ounties  west  of  the  Mississippi 
river."  This  act  which  constitutes  the  first  step  in  the  formation  of  counties  in 
the  Iowa  country,  was  approved  on  September  6,  1834,  to  take  effect  on  the 
first  day  of  October  of  the  same  year.  It  applied  only  to  that  part  of  the  present 
state  of  Iowa,  "to  which  the  Indian  title  had  been  extinguished."  This  refers 
to  the  "Iowa  District,"  or  the  "Black. Hawk  Purchase,"  or  "Scott's  Purchase," 
as  the  Sac  and  Fox  cession  of  September  21,  1832,  was  variously  called.  This 
act  divided  the  district  into  two  counties  Dubuque  and  Demoine.  W^ith  the 
admission  of  part  of  the  territory  of  Michigan  to  the  Union  as  a  state,  the 
remainder  was  by  act  of  congress,  approved  on  April  20,  1836,  erected  into  the 
new  Territory  of  Wisconsin.  The  area  of  the  present  state  of  Iowa,  with  its 
two  counties,  was  included  in  the  new  jurisdiction.  The  first  session  of  the 
legislature  of  the  Territory  of  Wisconsin  met  at  Belmont  on  October  25,  1836. 
In  the  following  December  the  legislature  passed  a  law  entitled  "An  act  dividing 
the  county  of  Des  Moines,  into  several  new  counties."  This  act  was  approved 
December  7,  1836,  and  went  into  force  immediately.  This  created  out  of  the 
former  county  of  Demoine  seven  new  counties. 

By  the  terms  of  a  treaty  made  on  October  21,  1837,  the  Sac  and  Fox  Indians 
made  a  new  cession  of  Iowa  lands  to  the  United  States  government.  The  ter- 
ritory ceded  comprised  a  triangular  strip  of  1,500,000  acres  lying  immediately 
west  of  .the  Black  Hawk  Purchase. 

During  the  second  annual  session  of  the  legislative  assembly  of  the  Territory- 
of  Wisconsin,  which  convened  at  Burlington  in  the  county  of  Des  Moines,  on 
November  6,  1837,  two  very  important  acts  were  passed  relative  to  the  forma- 
tion of  counties  in  Iowa.  The  first  of  these  laws,  which  was  approved  on  Decem- 
ber 21,  1837,  subdivided  the  former  county  of  Dubuque  into  a  number  of  new 
counties.  The  boundaries  of  these  counties  were  very  irregular  and  not  definitely 
defined.  Even  the  wording  of  the  act,  which  created  the  counties,  was  capable 
of  different  constructions.  Benton  county  extended  entirely  across  the  state 
of  Iowa,  while  Buchanan  did  the  same  and  also  reached  into  South  Dakota. 
Fayette  county  extended  so  far  north  and  west  that  it  included  all  of  Wisconsin 
Territory  west  of  the  Mississippi  river  and  north  of  the  southern  part  of  Clay- 
ton county,  exclusive  of  the  area  of  Clayton  county.  It  included  most  of  the 
territory  of  the  two  Dakotas  and  Minnesota  together  with  a  part  of  Iowa.  Its 
area  was  upward  of  140,000  square  miles.  Included  in  its  area  was  the  present 
county  of  Webster.  Subsequent  sessions  of  the  legislature  passed  various  acts, 
seeking  to  more  clearly  define  the  boundaries  of  existing  counties. 

By  an  act  of  congress  approved  on  June  12.  1838,  the  original  Territory  of 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  73 

Wisconsin  was  divided.  The  part  west  of  the  Mississippi  river,  and  west  of  a 
Hne  drawn  due  north  from  the  source  of  the  Mississippi,  received  the  name  of 
the  Territory  of  Iowa.  It  included  not  only  the  area  of  the  present  state  of  Iowa, 
but  also  that  of  the  western  part  of  Minnesota  and  of  the  eastern  part  of  the 
two  Dakotas.  Its  area  was  about  three  times  that  of  the  present  state  of  Iowa. 
The  Organic  Act  of  the  Territory  of  Iowa  was  to  be  in  force  from  and  after 
July  3,  1838.  From  this  date  the  territory  continued  in  existence  until  December 
28,  1846,  when  the  state  of  Iowa  was  finally  admitted  into  the  Union. 

The  first  session  of  the  legislature  of  the  Territory  of  Iowa  passed  several 
acts  in  January,  1839,  relative  to  counties.     Some  of  these  dealt  with  the  organ-_- 
ization  of  counties,  others  relocated  seats  of  justice,  provided  for  the  sale  of 
public  lands,  and  similar  matters.     Four  acts  created  new  counties  or  altered 
the  boundaries  of  counties  already  created. 

After  the  minor  acts  of  January,  1839,  "o  more  new  counties  were  created 
in  Iowa  for  four  years.  In  the  meantime  the  Sac  and  Fox  Indians  had  ceded 
to  the  United  States  a  vast  region  in  the  central  aiid  south  central  part  of  the 
state  of  Iowa.  Under  various  acts  of  the  legislature,  this  territory  was  divided 
into  counties.    These  acts  also  sought  to  define  the  boundaries  of  existing  counties. 

The  first  act  of  the  federal  congress  authorizing  the  admission  of  Iowa  into 
the  Union  was  approved  on  March  3,  1845.  Then  followed  nearly  two  years 
spent  in  the  adoption  of  a  constitution  and  in  the  adjustment  of  boundaries.  The 
act  which  finally  admitted  the  state  was  not  passed  and  approved  until  Decem- 
ber 28,  1846. 

At  this  time  Iowa  contained  forty-four  counties  covering  a  little  less  than 
one-half  of  the  state.  On  January  15,  185 1.  the  general  assembly  of  the  state 
of  Iowa  passed  the  most  important  act  in  the  whole  history  of  the  formation 
of  counties  in  Iowa.  At  least  it  was  the  most  comprehensive  and  created  the 
largest  number  of  counties.  By  this  measure  fifty  counties  were  established 
embracing  fully  one-half  of  the  state.  Among  the  counties  created  by  this  act 
were  the  counties,  of  Risley  and  Yell,  the  former  constituting  the  present  county 
of  Hamilton,  and  the  latter  the  present  county  of  Webster,  with  the  exception 
of  the  northern  tier  of  four  townships.  These  townships  w-ere  included  in  the 
confines  of  the  county  of  Humboldt.  The  name  Yell  was  in  honor  of  Colonel 
Yell,  who  was  killed  in  the  Mexican  war.  While  the  majority  of  the  counties 
as  established  under  this  act  remained  permanent,  sixteen  of  them  were  changed 
by  subsequent  legislation.  Four  of  them.  Yell,  Humboldt  and  Bancroft  were 
subsequently  blotted  out.  Before  this  occurred  the  name  Risley  had  been  changed 
to  Webster;  and  Humboldt,  after  having  been  blotted  out,  was  restored. 

On  the  whole,  the  law^  of  January  15,  1851,  is  noticeable  for  the  superior 
manner  in  which  the  boundaries  of  counties  are  defined.  Compared  with  earlier 
laws  its  language  is  clear  and  simple.  It  is  comparatively  free  from  errors. 
This  act  fully  completed  the  subdivision  of  the  state  of  Iowa  into  counties.  Sub- 
seqvient  acts  only  changed  the  names,  or  readjusted  boundaries  already  estab- 
lished. 

The  fourth  general  assembly  of  the  state  of  Iowa  passed  a  law,  which  was 
approved  January  12,  1853,  and  which  changed  the  name  of  Risley  to  Webster; 
and  attached  the  county  for  revenue  and  election  purposes  to  Boone  countv.  On 


74  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

January  22,  1853,  the  same  assembly  passed  an  act  entitled  "An  act  to  create  the 
county  of  Webster."  The  act  of  January  12,  1853,  which  changed  the  name 
from  Risley  to  Webster  was  to  go  into  effect  upon  publication  in  certain  papers. 
A  certification  signed  by  the  secretary  of  state  accompanies  the  law  to  the  effect 
that  the  act  was  published  in  the  required  newspapers  on  January  22,  1853.  This 
date  is  the  same  as  that  of  the  approval  of  the  new  law  to  "create  Webster 
county  by  uniting  Risley  and  Yell  into  one  new  county  to  be  called  Webster." 
The  latter  act  was  "to  take  effect  from  and  after  its  publication  in  the  Iowa 
Star ;  Provided  the  state  shall  incur  no  expense  for  such  publications."  No  ac- 
companying note  tells  when  the  act  was  so  published.  It  was  usual  in  such  cases 
for  a  few  days  to  elapse  between  the  approval  of  an  act  and  its  publication. 

The  fifth  general  assembly  passed  two  laws  affecting  county  boundaries. 
One  of  these  laws  was  passed  by  the  legislature  January  21,  1855  and  was 
approved  on  the  same  day.  It  bore  the  title  of  "An  act  to  extend  the  boundaries 
of  Kossuth  county,  and  to  locate  the  seat  of  justice  thereof ;"  but  this  title  was 
not  adequate  to  the  contents  of  the  measure.  By  the  terms  of  this  act  the  counties 
of  Bancroft  and  Humboldt  were  blotted  out.  Bancroft  and  the  northern  half 
of  Humboldt  were, added  to  Kossuth;  while  the  southern  half  of  Humboldt  was 
added  to  the  already  overlarge  county  of  Webster,  making  it  the  largest  county 
in  the  state,  having  an  area  of  forty  townships  or  921,600  acres.  Thus  the 
boundaries  of  Kossuth  and  Webster  were  enlarged.  But  these  boundaries  were 
not  to  be  permanent  as  will  be  seen  later. 

The  sixth  general  assembly,  like  the  fifth,  passed  two  laws,  bearing  upon  the 
subject  of  this  chapter.  The  first  of  these  was  approved  on  December  22,  1856, 
and  went  into  force  on  January  8,  1857.  This  act  created  a  new  county,  to  be 
called  Hamilton,  out  of  that  part  of  \Vebster  county  which  lay  east  of  range 
27  west.  In  size  it  was  four  townships  square,  having  exactly  the  same  bound- 
aries as  the  former  county  of  Risley.  Its  boundaries,  as  thus  established,  have 
remained  permanent. 

The  other  act  passed  at  this  session  was  approved  on  January  28,  1857,  and 
went  into  force  on  February  26.  It  created  the  county  of  Humboldt  between 
Wright  and  Pocahontas.  To  do  this  eight  townships  were  taken  from  Kossuth 
and  four  from  Webster  county.  The  new  Humboldt,  as  its  boundaries  were 
defined  in  the  law,  was  four  townships  smaller  than  its  predecessor  of  the  same 
name.  It  was  also  smaller  than  ^^'right  and  Pocahontas  counties,  its  neighbors 
on  the  east  and  west. 

During  the  next  session  of  the  legislature  an  act  explanatory  of  the  one 
under  discussion  was  passed.  In  a  preamble  of  two  paragraphs  it  was  claimed 
that  the  act  of  January  28,  1857,  had  originally  created  Humboldt  county  of  a 
larger  size,  that  is,  four  townships  square.  The  preamble  claimed,  further,  that 
a  mistake  had  been  made  when  the  act  was  printed  in  the  public  laws,  whereby 
township  90  had  been  omitted,  and  also  that  the  original  of  the  bill  had  been 
lost.  This  being  the  situation  the  legislature  passed  a  new  act  construing  that 
of  January  28,  1857,  in  such  a  way  as  to  include  township  90,  ranges  27,  28, 
29,  and  30  in  Humboldt  county.  The  act  even  went  further  and  defined  the 
boundaries  of  the  county  anew  in  such  a  way  as  clearly  to  include  the  territory  in 
dispute. 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  75 

Between  the  passage  of  the  two  laws  just  discussed  the  present  constitution 
of  Iowa  was  declared  in  force.  It  contained  a  provision  to  the  effect  that  future 
laws  altering  county  boundaries  should  be  submitted  to  a  vote  of  the  people  of 
the  counties  concerned  and  must  be  approved  by  them  before  going  into  effect. 
The  amendatory  law  of  IMarch  ii,  1858,  had  not  been  submitted  to  the  people  for 
ratification.  Consequently  the  supreme  court  of  the  state,  by  a  decision  handed 
down  on  December  4,  i860,  in  the  case  of  Buncombe  vs.  Prindle,  12  Iowa  i, 
which  had  been  appealed  from  the  district  court  of  Webster  county,  declared  the 
act  of  March  11,  1858,  unconstitutional. 

The  case  which  was  a  test  case,  was  based  upon  a  suit  instituted  in  Webster 
county,  upon  a  promissory  note  for  one  hundred  and  twenty-five  dollars,  dated 
October,  1858,  and  payable  at  thirty  days.  The  defendant  set  out  by  way  of 
answer,  that  he  resided  in  township  90,  range  28,  west  of  the  5th  P.  M.,  which 
township  was  situated  within  the  boundaries  of  Humboldt  county,  as  he  claimed 
would  more  fully  appear  by  an  act  approved  January  28,  1857,  entitled,  "An  Act 
to  create  the  County  of  Humboldt :"'  and  "An  Act  explanatory  of  the  act,  entitled, 
'An  Act  to  create  the  County  of  Humboldt,'"  approved  jMarch  11,  1858,  which 
act  set  forth,  that  in  the  first  named  act,  townships  90,  91,  92  and  93  in  ranges 
2^],  28,  29  and  30,  were  erected  into  the  county  of  Humboldt,  according  to  the 
language  of  the  original  bill  as  passed,  but  that  in  the  printing  and  publication 
of  this  act,  township  90,  in  the  ranges  of  27  to  30  inclusive,  were  omitted.  The 
defendant  claimed,  that  this  omission  was  afterwards  supplied  by  the  explana- 
tory act  aforesaid  (of  March  ii,  1858),  and,  therefore,  not  having  been  sued 
in  his  own  proper  county,  he  demanded  a  change  of  venue  to  Humboldt  county. 

The  plaintiff',  in  his  replication,  controverted  the  afifirmative  statements  in  the 
answer,  proffered  a  certified  copy  of  the  original  manuscript  act,  approved  Jan- 
uary 28,  1857,  as  found  enrolled  in  the  secretary's  offfce,  and  averred  that  there 
was  in  fact  no  conflict  or  discrepancy  between  the  original  manuscript  of  the 
act  and  the  same  act  as  published.  The  plaintiff  insisted  that  the  facts  set  out 
in  the  preamble  of  the  supposed  explanatory  act  of  1858  were  untrue.  He  alleged, 
that  if  by  this  last  act  the  defendant  insisted  that  township  90,  of  the  ranges 
aforesaid,  had  been  made  a  part  of  Humboldt  county,  that  still  said  law  was 
inoperative,  and  could  have  no  binding  effect,  until  it  had  been  submitted  to  the 
people  of  Webster  and  Humboldt  counties,  to  be  voted  upon  at  a  general  election, 
and  approved  by  a  majority  of  the  votes  of  each  county.  Such  vote,  the  plaintiff 
claimed,  as  a  matter  of  fact  had  never  been  taken. 

To  this  replication  the  defendant  interposed  a  demurrer  which  was  overruled 
by  the  court.  Judgment  was  then  rendered  for  the  plaintiff  on  the  note,  and  the 
defendant  appealed. 

The  appellant  was  represented  in  court  by  Messrs.  Kasson,  Cole  and  Garaghty, 
while  the  appellee  was  represented  by  Alessrs.  John  F.  Buncombe  and  G.  H. 
Bassett.  The  decision,  which  afffrmed  that  of  the  district  court,  was  given  by 
Chief  Justice  Lowe.  The  court  held,  that  this  act  did  not  relate  back  to  the  act 
of  which  it  was  amendatory ;  and  as  an  independent  act  it  was  invalid  because  it 
had  never  been  submitted  to  a  vote  of  the  people  of  the  comities  concerned.  In 
the  closing  words  of  his  opinion  the  court  says,  "We  are  compelled  to  conclude 
that  township  90,  in  ranges  2"]  to  3®,  west  of  the  5th  principal  meridian,  is  still 

Vol.  I— 6 


76  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

in  and  forms  a  part  of  Webster  county.  Of  course  we  can  pay  no  attention  to 
conjectural  surmises  and  vague  suspicions,  which  have  been  made  and  entertained 
in  relation  to  some  unfairness  which  may  have  been  practiced  in  the  final  passage 
of  the  act  of  1857,  creating  the  county  of  Humboldt.  If  such  was  the  case,  no 
evidence  of  the  fact  has  been  presented  to  us.  We  have  had  to  deal  with  the 
case  as  made ;  and  the  record  as  spread  before  us." 

The  result  of  this  decision  was  to  reduce  Humboldt  county  in  size  to  the 
dimensions  which  the  act  of  January  28,  1857,  had  given  it,  whether  as  approved 
this  act  expressed  the  real  intention  of  its  framers  or  not.  The  county,  however, 
should  be  considered  as  containing  sixteen  townships  from  March  11,  1858,  the 
date  of  the  approval  of  the  amendatory  act,  until  the  same  was  declared  uncon- 
stitutional on  December  4,  i860. 

It  may  seem  strange  to  class  the  customs  of  the  pioneers  among  the  early 
laws  of  Iowa;  but  as  Dr.  B.  F.  Shambaugh  in  his  book,  "History  of  the  Con- 
stitutions of  Iowa,"  says,  "constitutions  are  not  made  in  a  single  day,  but  have 
evolved  by  slow  degrees  from  customs,  so  the  rules  and  regulations  .of  the 
claim  clubs  of  early  Iowa  may  be  said  to  be  the  beginning  of  its  civil  govern- 
ment." The  early  settlers  of  Iowa  were  not  a  lawless  body  of  men.  The  cus- 
toms governing  the  holding  of  claims  were  well  and  honestly  ol)served.  These 
customs  codified  into  resolutions  and  by-laws,  became  the  first  written  laws  of 
the  pioneers  of  Iowa.  Squatter  constitutions  they  were,  but  they  were  law. 
These  claim  clubs  were  the  product  of  necessity.  By  cession  and  purchase  the 
United  States  held  legal  title  to  all  lands  in  Iowa,  but  the  Indians  occupied  the 
land,  and  their  right  to  possession  was  not  denied,  until  extinguished  by  formal 
agreement.  Until  this  was  done,  legal  settlement  could  not  be  made  by  the  white 
citizen.  United  States  statutes  at  large  prohibited  settlement  upon  lands  to  which 
the  Indian  title  had  not  yet  been  extinguished,  and  upon  lands  which  were  not 
surveyed.  But  the  tide  of  immigration  could  not  be  stopped.  The  pioneers 
pressed  ever  westward.  Claims  were  staked.  Homes  were  built  and  farms 
began.  All  of  these  claims  were  beyond  the  pale  of  constitutional  law.  Yet 
10,000  of  them  were  in  Iowa  before  the  public  surveys  began.  In  law  these 
squatters  were  trespassers, — in  fact  they  were  honest  farmers.  It  was  to  meet 
these  conditions  and  to  protect  what  they  termed  their  rights  to  their  claims 
that  the  early  settlers  formed  land  clubs  or  claim  associations. 

The  claim  club  of  Fort  Dodge  was  organized  and  active  after  Iowa  became 
a  state.  The  records  of  this  association  and  that  of  the  claim  association  of 
Johnson  county  are  the  only  complete  records  in  existence. 

The  manuscript  records  of  the  claim  club  of  Fort  Dodge,  discovered  sev- 
eral years  ago  among  the  papers  of  Governor  Carpenter,  are  now  carefully 
preserved  by  the  historical  department  at  Des  Moines.  From  these  records 
it  appears,  that  the  first  meeting  of  the  claim  club  of  Fort  Dodge  was  held  on 
the  22(1  of  July,  1854.  William  R.  Miller  was  chosen  chairman,  and  W.  A. 
Young,  secretary.  According  to  the  minutes  of  the  meeting,  the  "citizens  met 
pursuant  to  a  call  for  the  purpose  of  forming  a  claim  law."  At  this  meeting  a 
committee,  consisting  of  \^olney  Knight  and  W.  A.  Young,  was  chosen  to  draft 
a  "code  of  laws,"  and  to  report  at  the  next  meeting.  After  some  discussion  the 
following  motions  were  passed: 


PIOXEEES'  DAY,  AUGUST  19,  1908,  OLESOX  PARK.  FOET  DODGE 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  77 

"First,  that  320  acres  shall  constitute  a  claim.  Second,  a  claim  may  be  held 
one  month  by  sticking  stakes  and  after  that  10  dollars  monthly  improvements 
is  necessary  in  order  to  hold  a  claim.  Also  that  a  cabin  16x16  feet,  shingled 
and  enclosed  so  as  to  live  in  it,  is  valued  at  $30."  The  meeting  then  adjourned 
to  meet  at  Alajor  Williams  store,  Monday,  July  24,  at  7.00  P.  M.  At  the 
meeting  the  following  by-laws  and  resolutions  were  adopted : 

"Whereas  the  land  in  this  vicinity  is  not  in  market  and  may  not  be  soon. 
We  the  undersigned  claimants  deem  it  necessary  in  order  to  secure  our  lands 
to  form  ourselves  into  a  club  for  the  purpose  of  assisting  each  other  in  holding 
claims,  do,  hereby  form  and  adopt  the  following  by-laws : 

Resolved  tirst.     That  every  person  that  is  an  actual  "claimant  is  entitled  to 
hold  320  acres  of  land  until  such  time  as  it  comes  into  market. 

Resolved  second.  That  any  person  who  lives  on  their  claim,  or  is  continually 
improving  the  same  is  an  actual  claimant. 

Resolved  third.  That  staking  out  a  claim  and  entering  the  same  on  our 
claim  book  shall  hold  for  one  month. 

Resolved  fourth.     That  Sio  monthly  shall  hold  a  claim  thereafter. 

Resolved  fifth.  That  no  man's  claim  is  valid  unless  he  is  an  actual  settler 
here,  or,  has  a  family  and  has  gone  after  them,  in  which  case  he  can  have  one 
month  to  go  and  back. 

Resolved  sixth.  That  any  person  not  living  up  to  the  requirements  of  these 
laws  shall  forfeit  their  claim,  and,  any  actual  settler  who  has  no  claim  may 
settle  on  the  same. 

Resolved  seventh.  That  any  person  going  on  another's  claim  that  is  valid, 
shall  be  visited  by  a  commission  of  three  from  our  club  and  informed  of  ihe 
facts  and  if  such  person  persist  in  their  pursuits  regardless  of  the  commission 
or  claimant  they  shall  be  put  off  the  claim  by  this  club. 

Resolved  eighth.  That  the  boundaries  of  these  laws  shall  be  12  miles  each 
way  from  this  place. 

Resolved  ninth.  That  this  club  shall  hold  its  meetings  at  least  once  in  eacli 
month. 

Resolved  tenth.  That  the  officers  of  this  club  shall  consist  of  a  chairman 
and  secretary. 

Resolved  eleventh.  That  the  duty  of  the  chairman  is  to  call  to  order,  put 
all  questions,  give  the  casting  vote  when  there  is  a  tie,  etc.,  etc. 

Resolved  twelfth.  That  the  duty  of  the  secretary  is  to  keep  the  minutes 
of  the  meetings  and  read  the  same  at  the  opening  of  each  meeting  and  have  the 
book  and  papers  in  his  charge. 

Resolved  thirteenth.  That  any  or  all  of  the  by-laws  may  be  altered  or 
abolished  by  a  majority  vote  at  a  regular  meeting." 

On  the  offense  of  '"claim-jumping"  the  records  of  the  Fort  Dodge  club  con- 
tain this  suggestive  entry :  "On  motion  of  W^m.  R.  Miller  that  if  any  member 
of  this  club  finds  his  or  any  of  his  friends  clames  has  been  jumpt  that  they 
inform  this  club  of  the  fact  and  that  this  club  forthwith  put  them  off  of  said 
claim  without  trobling  the  Sivel  law." 

These   squatter   constitutions   made   it   possible   for   the   settlers   to   establish. 


78  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

homes  without  immediate  payment.  They  gave  color  of  title,  and  thus  made 
possible  and  protected  the  settlers  in  their  improvements.  They  gave  peaceful 
possession  against  the  speculator  and  claim  jumper,  and  even  against  the  govern- 
ment itself.  They  fostered  and  established  on  the  frontier,  justice,  equality 
and  democracy.  The  prominence  which  they  gave  to  the  homestead  and  its 
rights  probably  suggested  our  present  homestead  exemption  laws.  On  the 
rude  frontier,  where  lawlessness  was  the  tendency,  they  upheld  the  rule  of  law. 
The  law  of  these  claim  clubs  was  carried  by  settlers,  from  Iowa  to  the  new 
state  of  Nebraska  and  formed  the  basis  of  the  first  law  there. 

The  claim  clubs  were  mere  makeshifts  of  government,  the  outgrowth  of  con- 
ditions which  made  them  necessary.  However  they  created  a  desire  and  showed 
the  necessity  of  codified  law  and  established  government.  So  in  March,  1853, 
the  citizens  of  what  was  then  Webster  county  petitioned  Honorable  Samuel 
B.  ]\IcCall,  county  judge  of  Boone  county,  to  which  county  Webster  was  at 
that  time  attached  for  revenue  and  election  purposes,  to  order  an  election  of 
county  officers.  The  prayer  of  the  petitioners  was  granted,  and  an  order  issued 
for  an  election  to  be  held  on  April  4,  1853.  At  this  election  an  aggregate  of 
sixty-three  votes  were  cast.  Returns  were  made  to  Judge  McCall,  who  on 
April  9,  1853,  issued  certificates  to  the  ten  officers  elect,  namely:  a  county  judge, 
a  clerk  of  the  district  court,  a  prosecuting  attorney,  a  recorder,  a  sheriff,  a 
coroner,  a  school  fund  commissioner,  a  surveyor  and  a  drainage  commissioner. 

Since  the  first  election,  some  of  the  offices  have  been  abolished,  the  names 
of  others  have  been  changed,  and  a  number  of  new  ones  have  been  created.  At 
the  present  time  there  are,  including  the  board  of  five  supervisors,  thirteen 
elective  officers.  The  other  county  officers  are :  auditor,  clerk  of  court,  treas- 
urer, recorder,  sheriff,  superintendent  of  schools,  coroner  and  county  attorney. 
The  office  of  county  judge  existed  from  1853  ^o  1868,  in  which  year  the  duties 
of  the  office  were  assumed  by  the  board  of  supervisors,  established  i860.  The 
last  drainage  commissioner  elected  was  in  1867.  The  county  auditor's  office,  a 
sort  of  overflow  from  the  other  offices,  was  established  in  1868.  The  first 
incumbent  was  Wilson  Lumpkin,  who  performed  the  duties  of  the  office  in 
connection  with  his  duties  as  clerk.  The  office  of  school  fund  commissioner 
was  abolished  in  1857,  John  Tolman  being  the  last  one  to  hold  that  position. 
In  1859,  the  office  of  superintendent  of  common  schools  was  established  and 
the  office  was  filled  by  S.  B.  Olney,  who  was  elected  at  the  election  held  the 
first  ^Monday  in  April,  1858.  Until  the  year  1865,  the  duties  of  treasurer  were 
performed  by  the  recorder.  In  that  year  the  two  offices  were  separated  and 
Jared  Fuller  was  elected  the  first  treasurer.  The  county  attorney  was  at  first 
known  as  prosecuting  attorney.  The  records  show  the  existence  of  such  an 
office  until  the  year  1856,  when  Charles  B.  Richards  was  elected.  Then  until 
1886  there  was  no  regularly  elected  attorney.  In  that  year,  by  an  amendment 
to  the  state  constitution,  the  name  was  changed  to  county  attorney,  and  Albert 
E.  Clark  was'elected  to  the  office.  In  1873,  the  journal  of  the  board  of  super- 
visors, shows  that  John  F.  Duncombe  was  hired  by  that  body  as  attorney  of 
Webster  county  for  a  term  of  two  years.  The  thirty-fourth  general  assembly 
in  191 1,  abolished  the  office  of  surveyor,  the  act  taking  eft"ect  July  4,  191 1.  The 
last  person  to  fill  this  office  was  G.  P.  Smith.     Under  the  act,  abolishing  the 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  79 

office  of  surveyor,  the  board  of  supervisors  is  given  authority,  if  they  desire, 
to  hire  an  officer  to  be  known  as  county  engineer. 

Soon  after  the  organization  of  the  county  the  judge  of  the  fifth  judicial 
district,  of  which  Webster  county  then  formed  a  part,  appointed  three  com- 
missioners to  select  a  site  and  locate  a  county  seat.  The  commission  selected 
the  southwest  quarter  of  section  6,  township  87,  range  26.  Here  a  town  was 
laid  out  and  named  Homer.  But  the  villagers  of  Fort  Dodge  were  aggressive. 
Under  the  leadership  of  John  F.  Buncombe  and  others  they  began  a  fight  to 
secure  the  county  seat.  On  Alarch  3,  1856,  John  F.  Buncombe,  Walter  C.  Will- 
son  and  others  to  the  number  of  357,  presented  to  the  court  a  petition  asking 
for  an  election  to  be  held  on  the  first  Alonday  in  April,  1856,  to  vote  on  the 
question  of  the  removal  of  the  county  seat  from  Homer  to  Fort  Bodge,  ^^'hile 
they  lived  on  opposite  sides  of  the  county,  yet  the  interests  of  these  two  men 
were  mutual.  Air.  Buncombe  was  boosting  for  Fort  Bodge.  Mr.  Willson,  plan- 
ning for  the  future,  had  in  mind  a  division  of  the  county,  and  the  creating  of 
a  new  county  out  of  the  eastern  part,  with  another  county  seat  town.  \\'ith  the 
petition  was  also  filed  a  remonstrance  signed  by  George  Gregory  and  347  others. 
The  court  granted  the  petition,  and  the  election  was  held  April  7,  1856.  The 
canvass  of  the  votes  resulted  in  favor  of  Fort  Bodge  by  a  vote  of  407  as  against 
264  for  Homer.  Soon  after  the  records  were  removed  to  Fort  Bodge.  The 
removal  of  the  county  seat  brought  to  Fort  Bodge,  as  residents,  several  county 
officers,  among  them  Hon.  William  X.  Meservey,  who  later  played  an  important 
part  in  the  making  of  the  new  county  seat  town. 

By  an  act  of  the  fifth  general  assembly,  approved  January  24,  1855,  the 
unorganized  counties  of  Wright,  Kossuth,  Humboldt,  Winnebago,  Palto  Alto. 
Emmet,  Pocahontas  and  Hancock  were  attached  to  Webster  county  for  election, 
judicial  and  revenue  purposes.  These  counties  were  all  later  organized  by  the 
county  judge  of  Webster. 

There  is  an  interesting  incident  in  connection  with  the  organization  of  Hum- 
boldt county.  About  the  first  day  of  April,  1857,  Honorable  Samuel  Rees,  then 
county  judge  of  Webster  county,  deputized  Henry  A.  Cramer,  at  that  time  a 
resident  of  Humboldt  county,  as  depvity  sheriff  and  gave  him  a  warrant  for  the 
holding  of  an  election  in  the  county  on  the  first  ]vIonday  in  April,  with  orders 
to  serve  the  same.  Cramer  took  his  warrant  and  went  to  Humboldt  county ; 
but  found  the  homes  of  the  settlers  deserted,  they  having  fled  to  Fort  Bodge 
from  fear  of  the  Indians,  who  were  at  that  time  reported  as  being  on  their  way 
down  the  Bes  Moines  river.  Cramer  found  food  cooked  and  warm  on  the 
stoves.  He  helped  himself  to  the  eatables  and  returned  his  warrant  unserved. 
Judge  Rees  subsequently  issued  another  warrant  for  an  election  to  be  held  the 
first  Monday  in  August,  1857.  -^t  this  election  ]\Iajor  Jonathan  Hutchinson, 
who  afterwards  became  treasurer  of  W^ebster  county,  was  elected  county  judge. 

Webster  county  contains  twenty  congressional  townships,  each  containing 
thirty-six  sections  of  land.  It  has  therefore  an  area  of  720  square  miles  or 
460,800  acres.  As  first  organized  in  1853  it  contained  thirty-two  congressional 
townships.  Buring  the  years  1855  and  1856,  this  was  increased  to  forty.  Upon 
the  organization  of  Hamilton  and  Humboldt  counties  in  1857,  Webster  county 
was  reduced  to  its  present  size. 


80  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Webster  county  is  divided  into  twenty-four  civil  townships :  Badger,  Burn- 
side,  Clay,  Colfax,  Cooper,  Dayton,  Deer  Creek,  Douglas,  Elkhorn,  Fulton, 
Cowrie,  Hardin,  Jackson,  Johnson,  Lost  Grove,  Newark,  Otho,  Pleasant  Valley, 
Roland,  Sumner,  Wahkonsa,  Washington,  Webster  and  Yell. 

Washington  township  was  the  first  township  organized  in  the  county  and 
embraced  all  the  territory  now  contained  in  Webster  and  Hamilton  counties. 
In  August,  1853,  County  Judge  William  Pierce,  established  two  new  town- 
ships, Hardin  and  Webster,  and  left  Washington  township  all  the  territory 
north  of  township  87  in  the  county.  In  1857,  its  boundaries  were  again  reduced, 
when  Wahkonsa  township  was  established.  These  boundaries,  with  a  slight 
change  made  in  1870,  are  the  boundaries  Washington  now  contains,  to  wit : 
all  of  township  88,  range  27,  and  sections  i,  12,  13,  24,  25,  26,  35  and  36,  of 
township  88,  range  28,  east  of  the  Des  Moines  river. 

Hardin  township,  as  organized  in  1853,  contained  all  the  territory  in  town- 
ship 86  of  what  was  then  Webster  county.  By  the  organization  of  Yell  and 
Clear  Lake  townships  in  1856,  its  boundaries  were  reduced  to  township  86, 
ranges  27,  26  and  25  east  of  the  Des  Moines  river  in  what  was  then  Webster 
county.  When  Hamilton  county  was  organized,  Hardin  was  given  its  present; 
boundaries,  being  all  of  township  86,  range  27,  east  of  the  Des  Moines  river. 

Webster  township  as  organized  in  1853  embraced  all  the  territory  in  town- 
ship 87,  in  what  was  then  Webster  county.  By  the  organization  of  Yell  and 
Clear  Lake  townships,  its  boundaries  were  reduced  to  that  part  of  township  87, 
ranges  25,  26  and  2"],  on  the  east  side  of  the  Des  Moines  river.  After  the 
division  of  the  counties  in  1857  the  county  judge  ordered  the  township  reorgan- 
ized so  as  to  contain  only  that  part  of  township  87,  range  2^]. 

In  1856,  six  new  townships  were  established  namely:  Wahkonsa,  Yell,  Clear 
Lake,  Boon,  Cass  and  Humboldt.  Wahkonsa  and  Yell  w'ere  in  what  is  now 
Webster  county  while  Clear  Lake,  Boon  and  Cass  were  in  what  is  now  Hamilton. 
Humboldt  township  included  the  northern  tier  of  townships  of  the  present 
county  of  Webster,  and  the  southern  tier  of  townships  of  the  present  count}' 
of  Humboldt. 

Wahkonsa  township,  as  first  organized,  had  the  following  boundaries  :■ — 
commencing  at  the  northwest  corner  of  said  county,  thence  east  on  said  county 
line  to  the  range  line  between  ranges  27  and  26,  thence  south  to  the  correction 
line,  thence  south  to  the  northeast  corner  of  section  12,  township  88,  range  2'j, 
thence  west  to  the  Des  Moines  river,  thence  down  said  river  to  the  south  line 
of  section  8,  thence  w^est  to  county  line,  thence  north  on  said  line  to  place  of 
beginning.  These  boundaries  were  changed  March  24,  1857  and  the  township 
then  embraced  all  east  of  the  Des  ]\Ioines  river  and  north  of  the  line  between 
sections  12  and  13,  11  and  14.  10  and  15,  9  and  16,  8  and  17,  7  and  18,  town- 
ship 88,  range  27.  Badger  township  was  taken  from  Wahkonsa  township  in 
1865;  and,  in  1872,  its  boundaries  were  reduced  to  township  89  and  range  28. 
Wahkonsa  now  embraces  only  the  city  limits  of  Fort  Dodge. 

Yell  township  as  originally  organized  had  the  following  boundaries :  com- 
mencing at  the  northwest  corner  of  section  one,  township  87,  range  28,  thence 
\vest  to  the  county  line,  thence  sotith  on  said  line  to  the  Boone  county  line,  thence 
east  on  said  line  between  \\'ebster  and  Boone  countv  to  the  Des  Moines  river, 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COLXTY  81 

thence  along  that  as  a  Hne  to  place  of  l^eginning.  In  1858  it  was  given  its  pres- 
ent boundaries.  They  embrace  all  of  township  87,  range  27,  west  of  the  Des 
Moines  river.  Clear  Lake  township,  as  organized  in  1856,  embraced  all  of 
townships  86,  87,  88  and  89  in  ranges  24  and  23,  of  what  is  now  Hamilton 
county.  Boon  township  was  organized  ]^Iarch  3,  1856,  and  included  township 
88  and  89,  ranges  26  and  25,  of  what  is  now  Hamilton  county.  On  March  15, 
this  township  was  divided  and  township  89,  ranges  26  and  25,  was  called  Cass. 
Humboldt  township  as  organized  ^larch  3,  1856,  embraced  all  of 'townships 
90  and  91,  in  what  was  then  Webster  county. 

The  townships  of  Otho,  Sumner  and  Douglas  were  organized  in  1857.  Otho, 
as  organized  March  2.  1857,  contained  all  of  township  88,  ranges  28  and  29, 
lying  west  of  the  Des  Moines  river.  The  township  of  Elkhorn  was  detached 
in  1871,  leaving  the  boundaries  of  Otho  the  same  as  at  present,  being  that  part 
of  township  88,  of  range  28,  on  the  west  side  of  the  Des  Moines  river.  Sumner 
township  was  organized  March  2,  1857,  and  at  that  time  contained  all  of  town- 
ship Sj,  and  west  of  the  Des  Moines  river.  \\'ith  the  organization  of  Burnside 
township,  Sumner  was  reduced  to  its  present  area.  By  an  order  of  court  March 
3,  1857,  all  the  territory  lying  in  townships  89  and  90,  ranges  29  and  30,  on  the 
west  side  of  the  Des  Moines  river  were  formed  into  a  township  named  Douglas. 
On  September  20,  1859,  the  court  ordered  township  90  of  ranges  29  and  30 
formed  into  a  township,  thus  leaving  Douglas  consisting  of  township  89,  ranges 

29  and  30.  The  new  township  was  named  Jackson.  Again,  on  November  6, 
i860,   another  township  was   formed   out  of   Douglas,  and  township  89,   range 

30  was  constituted  Johnson  township,  leaving  Douglas  township  its  present 
confines, — all  of  township  89,  range  29,  and  that  part  of  sections  7,  18,  and  19 
in  township  89,  range  28,  lying  west  of  the  Des  Moines  river. 

Dayton  township  was  organized  September  14,  1858.  The  boundaries  as 
then  fixed  were  all  of  township  86,  range  28,  and  that  part  of  township  86, 
range  27,  lying  west  of  the  Des  Moines  river,  except  sections  i,  2  and  3. 

Jackson  township  as  first  organized  included  all  of  township  90,  ranges  29 
and  30.  On  November  6,  i860,  the  county  court  ordered  township  90,  range 
29,  set  off,  and  a  township  named  Cass  formed.  The  to\\nship  Cass,  however, 
was  never  organized.  October  10,  1865,  township  90,  range  29,  was  by  order 
of  court  detached  from  Jackson  and  named  Deer  Creek. 

Badger  township  was  formed  from  Wahkonsa  by  an  order  of  the  board  of 
supervisors,  October  10,  1865,  and  when  organized  contained  township  90. 
ranges  2y  and  28.  Range  27  was,  October  14,  1873,  taken  from  Badger  and 
formed  Newark  township.  The  present  boundaries  of  Badger  township  are 
all  township  90,  range  28,  and  that  part  of  township  90,  range  29,  lying  west  of 
the  Des  Moines  river. 

Fulton  township  was  organized  by  an  order  of  the  board  of  supervisors 
passed  September  11,  1868.     It  consists  of  all  of  township  88,  range  30. 

Lost  Grove  township  was  organized  October  18,  1869,  and  embraces  all  the 
territory  of  township  86,  range  29. 

The  original  boundaries  as  given  to  Pleasant  Valley,  when  organized  Octo- 
ber II,  1870,  were  township  89,  range  27,  and  sections  2,  3,  4,  5,  6,  9,  10,  11, 
14,  15,  16  and  17,  township  88,  range  28,  and  that  part  of  section  i,  township 


82  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

88,  range  29,  east  of  the  Des  Moines  river.  November  5,  1872,  the  board  of 
supervisors  set  off  township  89,  range  2"],  giving  the  township  its  present 
boundaries. 

The  township  of  Elkhorn  was  detached  from  Otho  by  an  order  of  the 
board  of  supervisors,  October  10,  1871.    It  embraces  all  of  township  88,  range  29. 

The  township  of  Gowrie  was  organized  October  10,  1871,  and  included  all 
of  township  86,  range  30. 

Colfax  and  Clay  were  organized  November  5,  1872.  Colfax  includes  all 
of  township  89,  range  27.  The  township  of  Clay  embraces  all  of  township  87, 
range  29. 

The  boundaries  given  to  Newark  township  as  organized  October  14,  1873, 
were  all  of  township  90,  range  27,  and  these  boundaries  have  remained 
unchanged. 

Roland  township  was  organized  by  the  order  of  the  board  of  supervisors 
October  12,  1875.  Its  boundaries  are  the  same  as  when  organized,  being  all 
of  township  87,  range  30. 

Cooper  township  was  organized  September  6,  1877.  The  record  of  the 
board  of  supervisors,  concerning  the  organization,  is  as  follows :  "that  the 
territory  heretofore  known  as  Wahkonsa  township  be  divided  as  follows :  all 
that  part  of  said  township  within  the  corporate  limits  of  the  city  of  Fort  Dodge 
to  constitute  a  separate  township,  and  called  by  the  name  of  Wahkonsa  town- 
ship ;  and  all  that  i5art  of  said  township  lying  outside  the  corporate  limits  of 
said  city  of  Fort  Dodge,  to  constitute  a  separate  township,  to  be  known  and 
called  by  the  name  of  Cooper  township,  in  accordance  with  a  petition  now 
before  the  board  signed  by  J.  B.  Haviland  and  others." 

Burnside  township  was  organized  June  16,  1886.  At  that  time  Sumner 
township  was  divided  into  two  townships,  one  embraced  the  territory  within 
the  corporate  limits  of  Lehigh,  and  so  much  of  the  Independent  school  district 
of  Tyson's  Mills  as  was  included  in  said  township,  outside  of  said  corporation. 
This  retained  the  original  name  of  Sumner.  The  remainder  was  organized  as, 
and  named  Burnside. 

At  the  present  time,  Webster  county  is  divided  into  five  supervisor  dis- 
tricts. The  first  supervisor  district  is  composed  of  Colfax,  Newark,  Washing- 
ton, Webster  and  Pleasant  A  alley.  The  second  consists  of  Badger,  Deer  Creek, 
Douglas,  Jackson  and  Johnson ;  the  third  of  Wahkonsa  and  Cooper ;  the  fourth 
of  Gowrie,  Dayton,  Hardin  and  Lost  Grove  and  the  fifth  of  Burnside,  Elkhorn, 
Fulton,  Roland,  Clay,  Otho,  vSumner  and  Yell. 

Webster  county  forms  the  sixty-second  representative  district,  and  with 
other  counties  forms  the  twenty-seventh  senatorial  district,  the  eleventh  judicial 
district  and  the  tenth  congressional  districts.  The  twenty-seventh  senatorial  dis- 
trict consists  of  Webster  and  Calhoun  counties.  The  eleventh  judicial  district 
consists  of  the  counties  of  Webster,  Boone,  Story,  Hamilton,  Hardin,  Franklin 
and  Wright ;  and  has  three  judges,  elected  at  large  from  the  district.  The  tenth 
congressional  district  consists  of  fourteen  counties :  Webster,  Calhoun,  Ham- 
ilton, Pocahontas,  Humboldt,  Palo  Alto,  Kossuth,  Hancock,  Emmett,  Winne- 
bago, Crawford,  Carroll,  Greene  and  Boone. 


MAJOR   WILLIAM   WILLIAMS 

FiiTi    >.Ir7;ir,    riist    P(  Rtmaster   and  First   Citizen   of   Fort  Dodge 


y 


CHAPTER  VIII 
THE  COUNTY  ELECTIONS 

FORT   DODGE    IX    THE    NATION WOMEN    OFFICE    HOLDERS COUNTY    OFFICERS 

FORT   DODGE   IN   THE   NATION WOMEN    OFFICE   HOLDERS COUNTY   OFFICERS. 

\ 

THE  COUNTY  ELECTIONS  ^ 

If  one  could  read  between  the  lines  of  the  records  of  the  elections  in  Webster 
county,  one  would  find  many  an  interesting  story.  For  into  these  records  are 
woven  the  realizations  of  ambition  and  the  disappointments  of  failure.  The 
politicians  were  as  crafty  in  the  early  fifties  as  they  are  today.  The  first  settlers 
of  the  county  were  men  of  strong  opinions.  They  fought  for  a  principle,  and 
what  they  thought  was  right,  even  more  zealously  than  the  present  generation. 
Then,  too,  it  was -a  time  of  political  unrest.  New  ideas  were  constantly  being  pro- 
mulgated. New  parties  were  beihg  foi-med.  Slavery  was  already  an  issue.  From 
the  first  the  citizens  of  Webster  county  have  had  "a  genius  for  politics."  In  some 
of  the  early  years,  we  find  the  record  of  as  many  as  four  elections  being  held. 
Webster  county  and  Fort  Dodge  very  early  became  noted  as  a  political  center. 
There  was  considerable  politics  in  the  organization  of  the  county,  as  there  was  in 
the  removal  of  the  county  seat  to  Fort  Dodge.  For  years,  John  F.  Duncombe 
was  the  uncrowned  head  of  democracy  in  Iowa.  Opposing  Duncombe  was  Cyrus 
C.  Carpenter,  whom  the  republican  party  of  the  state  honored  with  many  offices. 
At  one  time  there  were  so  many  Federal  office  holders  from  Fort  Dodge,  that 
it  was  referred  to  by  the  rest  of  the  state  as  the  home  Federal  office  holders, 
and  to  Fort  Dodge  the  outside  looked  for  political  leadership.  Under  the  polit- 
ical training  of  Governor  Carpenter,  Jonathan  P.  Dolliver  reached  the  United 
States  senate  and  almost  the  presidency.  His  untimely  death  placed  the  political 
heir  of  himself  and  Governor  Carpenter  in  the  senate  chamber  of  the  United 
States.  Thus,  through  the  election  of  William  S.  Kenyon  twice  in  succession, 
was  this  high  office  filled  by  Fort  Dodge  citizens. 

The  first  election  in  Webster  county  was  held  by  the  order  of  the  county 
judge  of  Boone  county,  Hon.  Samuel  McCall,  April  4.  1853. 

The  county  has  gone  republican  every  presidential  campaign  except  in  1912. 
It  is  true  that  Lincoln  lost  the  county  by  one  vote  to  George  B.  McClellan.  But 
this  did  not  include  the  soldier  vote,  which  voted  solidly  for  Lincoln.  At  the 
first  presidential  election  held  in  Webster  county,  John  C.  Fremont  received  a 
majority  of  120  votes  over  Buchanan.  In  1908,  W'illiam  H.  Taft  carried  the 
county  by  2,199  votes,  the  largest  majority  which  a  president  has  received  in  the 

83 


84  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUXTV 

count}-.     W'oodrow   A\'ilson,   the  democratic   nominee,  carried  the  county  by   a 
plurahty  of  lOO  in  1912. 

At  the  first  election  for  governor  held  in  Webster  county,  August  7,  1854, 
James  W.  Grimes,  the  whig  candidate,  received  only  twenty-two  votes,  and  Curtis 
Bates,  the  democratic  nominee,  nearly  four  times  as  many,  or  104  votes.    In  1857, 
B.  M.  Samuels,  the  democratic  candidate,  carried  the  county.     Even  Samuel  J. 
Kirkwood,  the  war  governor,  failed  to  carry  the  county  in  1859,  the  majority  going 
to  A.  C.  Dodge,  a  democrat.    Again  in  1861,  Kirkwood  lost  this  county,  William 
H.  Merritt,  the  democratic  and  Union  candidate,  being  successful.     In  1863.  for 
the  first  time,  the  county  went  republican  on  the  state  ticket.     This  time  \\'illiam 
M.  Stone,  the  republican  nominee,  carried  the  county  by  thirty-five  votes.     The 
socialist-union  candidate.   Thomas   EI.   Benton,   carried  the  county   in    1865,   bv 
a  majority  of  thirty-six.     In  1867,  the  county  again  went  republican,  and  Web- 
ster county  gave  Samuel  Merrill  a  majority  of   123  votes.     Cyrus  C.  Carpen- 
ter, the  nominee  on  the  republican  ticket,  carried  the  county  by  366  votes   in 
1871.     At  the  next  election,   however,   in   1873,   a  new  party   entered  politics, 
called  the  antimonopoly  party.     Their  candidate,  J.  G.  Vale,  defeated  Carpen- 
ter in  this  county  by  fourteen  votes.     In  T875,  Kirkwood  again  lost  the  county, 
the  antimonopoly  candidate  carrying  it  by  fourteen  vptes.    ^Meanwhile,  the  green- 
back party  had  come  into  existence.     In  1877,  their  candidate,  Daniel  P.  Stubbs. 
received  a  majority  over  John  P.  Irish,  the  democratic  nominee,  and  John  H. 
Gear,   the    republican    nomine,    of   444   votes.      But    in    1879,    the   county   gave 
John  H.   Gear,  the  republican  candidate,  a  plurality  over  the  combined   forces 
of  the  democratic  and  greenback  parties.     Buren  R.  Sherman,  candidate  on  the 
republican  ticket,  carried  the  county  in  1881  by  a  majority  of  289  votes  over 
the  democratic  and  greenback   nominees.      In    1883   he   received   a   majority   in 
the  county  of  142  votes  over  these  nominees.     However,  in  1885,  the  democratic 
and  greenback  parties  pooled  their  forces   and  their  candidate,   Charles  Whit- 
ney, carried  the  county  by  a  majority  of  seventy-nine  over  William  Larrabee, 
republican.     But  in  1887,  Larrabee  carried  the  county  by  seven  votes.     At  the 
elections  in  1889  and  1891,  the  county  went  democratic.     Horace  Boies  carried 
the  county  by  a  majority  of  sixty-eight  votes,  the  first  time,  and  by  a  majority 
of  269,  the  second  time  over  \\'illiam  K.  Wheeler.     In  his  campaign  for  a  third 
term,  in  1893,  Boies,  however,  lost  the  county  to  the  republican  candidate,  Frank 
D.  Jackson,  who  received  a  majority  in  the  county  of  444.     In  1895,  Francis  M. 
Drake,  republican,  carried  the  county  by  508  against  the  democrat  and  populist 
nominees.    Leslie  ]\I.  Shaw,  republican,  carried  the  county  in  1897  by  a  majority 
of  154,  as  against  the  combined  forces  of  democratic,  populist,  prohibition,  na- 
tional democrat,  and  socialist  labor  parties.    This  is  the  first  appearance  of  the  pro- 
hibition and  socialist  labor  parties  in  state  politics.    The  Webster  county  vote  for 
the  former  was  132,  and  six  for  the  latter.     Shaw  again  carried  the  county  in 
1899.     At  the  next  three  state  elections  the  county  gave  Albert  B.  Cummins,  the 
republican  candidate,  big  majorities.     In  1908  and  1910,  B.  F.  Carroll  carried  the 
county.     In  1912,  the  county  went  democratic  on  the  presidential  ticket,  and  E. 
G.  Dunn,  the  democratic  nominee  for  governor,  received  a  plurality  of   149. 

Webster  county  has  had  the  distinction  of  having  three  congressmen  and  two 
United  States  senators.     The  first  congressman  was  Charles  Pomeroy.  a  farmer 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  85 

who  represented  what  was  then  the  Sixth  congressional  district  in  the  Forty- 
first  congress,  during  the  years  1869-71.  Cyrus  C.  Carpenter  represented  what 
was  then  the  Ninth  district,  and  served  in  the  Forty-sixth  and  Forty-seventh 
congress  from  1879  to  1883.  In  1889,  Jonathan  P.  DoUiver  was  first  elected  to 
congress  from  w^hat  had  then  become  the  Tenth  congressional  district,  and 
served  continuously  for  ten  years.  August  22.  1900,  on  the  death  of  John  H. 
Gear,  lonathan  P.  Dolliver  was  appointed  United  States  senator  by  Governor 
Leslie  'SI.  Shaw,  to  fill  the  office  until  the  legislature  should  meet.  The  Twenty- 
ninth  general  assembly  in  January.  1902,  elected  him  to  fill  the  term  ending 
March  4.  1907.  He  was  then  reelected  and  served  unfil  his  death,  October  15, 
1910.  William  S.  Kenyon  was  elected  by  the  legislature  April  12,  191 1,  to  serve 
until  1913.  In  the  primary  election  of  T912  he  defeated  his  opponent,  Uafe 
Young,  by  a  large  majority. 

George  Roberts  is  the  present  director  of  the  United  States  mint.  During  the 
campaign  of  1896,  when  the  financial  cjuestion  was  the  chief  issue  in  politics. 
Mr.  Roberts  gained  a  national  reputation  because  of  his  knowledge  of  the  sub- 
ject shown  in  his  reply  to  "Coin's  Financial  School."  ^1.  D.  O'Connell,  served 
as  solicitor  of  the  United  States  treasury  department  for  many  years. 

xAside  from  the  office  of  representative  in  congress,  Cyrus  C.  Carpenter  held 
several  state  offices.  He  was  registrar  of  the  state  land  office  from  1867  to  1871, 
and  governor  of  the  state  from  1872  to  1876. 

Party  lines  have  not  been  followed  very  closely  in  the  election  of  the  county 
officers.  Personality  rather  than  political  faith  has  been  the  most  important 
factor.  It  is  interesting  to  note  that  a  large  percentage  of  the  county  officers  from 
the  close  of  the  war  to  recent  years,  were  Civil  war  veterans.  The  records  show 
that  Webster  county  has  been  blest  with  honest  officers,  only  one  instance  being 
found  of  an  absconding  officer,  and  that  was  before  1859.  Miss  Maude  Lauder- 
dale and  Miss  Mary  Carey  enjoy  the  distinction  of  being  the  only  women  elected 
to  office  in  Webster  county.  ]\Iiss  Lauderdale  was  elected  recorder  in  1910,  and 
reelected  in  191 2.  Miss  Carey  was  appointed  county  superintendent  in  the  fall  of 
1909,  elected  to  the  office  in  1910  and  reelected  in  191 2. 

The  general  elections  of  the  fifties  were  held  on  the  first  Monday  in  August. 
Then  the  elections  vary  between  the  middle  of  October  and  the  first  of  Novem- 
ber. In  1884,  it  was  fixed  by  law  as  the  first  Tuesday  after  the  first  Monday  in 
November.  At  first,  elections  were  held  every  year,  but  in  1904,  a  biennial 
election  law  was  passed.    The  first  primary  was  held  June  2,  1908. 

THE    COrXTY    ELECTIONS 

April  4.  1853 — County  judge,  William  Pierce:  clerk  of  district  court.  Jesse 
Goodrich ;  recorder  and  treasurer.  James  Hook ;  prosecuting  attorney.  George  W. 
Hall,*  John  H.  Cofer;*  sherifi:'.  James  Doty;  coroner.  Theodorus  Eslick ;  school 
fund  commissioner,  John  Tolman,**  Luodowic  Mericle  ;**  surveyor,  George  W. 
Hall ;  drainage  commissioner,  Daniel  Gaylor ;  township  assessor,  Samuel 
Eslick  :t  justice  of  peace,  John  H.  Cofer,  John  Tolman ;  constables,  John  Devore, 


*  Each  received  28  votes. 

**  Each  received  27  votes. 

j  Only  on  township,  Washington,  in  entire  county. 


86  HISTORY  OF  \\-EBSTER  COUNTY 

Charles  Burkhard;  township  trustees,  Isaac  Hook,  Andrew  Grossclose,  John 
Gaylor;  township  clerk,  Luodowic  ]\Iericle. 

1854 — No  record  of  an  election. 

April  5,  1855 — County  judge,  ^^^  N.  Aleservey;  prosecuting  attorney,  Gran- 
ville Berkley;  drainage  commissioner,  David  Carrell ;  coroner,  Alfred  Gaines; 
Des  Moines  river  improvement  commissioner,  O.  D.  Tisdale ;  improvement  reg- 
ister, William  Dewey;  register  state  land  office.  Stark  H.  Samuels. 

For  prohibitory  law,  99;  against  prohibitory  law,  76. 

August  6,  1855 — Clerk  of  district  court  (to  fill  vacancy),*  George  Gregory;** 
recorder  and  treasurer,  William  T.  Woolsey  ;**  sheriff,  William  Royster  ;** 
county  judge,  John  D.  ^laxwell  ;t  coroner,  X.  L.  Osborn ;  surveyor,  C.  C.  Car- 
penter.l 

April  7,  1856 — District  clerk,  Henry  B.  Martin  (to  fill  vacancy  until  August, 
1856)  ;  school  fund  commissioner,  John  Tolman  ;  coroner,  John  Johns. 

•On  removing  county  seat  from  Flomer  to  Fort  Dodge,  for,  407 ;  against,  264. 

Allowing  stock  to  run  at  large,  for,  228;  against,  344. 

August  5,  1856 — -Prosecuting  attorney,  Chas.  B.  Richards;  district  clerk,  S.  B. 
Rosencrans ;  representative,  Elias  Pocock. 

For  calling  a  constitutional  convention,  299;  against,  99. 

Delegate  to  the  constitutional  convention  of  1857,  Thirty-third  district.  Sheldon 
G.  Winchester. 

September  22,  1856 — $200,000  bond  issue  at  ten  per  cent,  payable  in  17,  18 
and  20  years,  to  aid  Dubuque  &  Pacific  Railroad,  and  tax  levy  for  same,  not  to 
exceed  one  per  cent  of  value  of  taxable  property,  voted. 

April  6,  1857 — County  judge,  Samuel  Rees;§  clerk  of  district  court,  \\'.  E. 
Brooks;  recorder  and  treasurer,  William  Burkholder  ;§§  sheriff,  John  W.  Brady; 
surveyor,  F.  B.  Drake ;  drainage  commissioner,  Adam  ^lessmore ;  county  assessor, 
Lewis  Davis. 

August  3,  1857 — County  judge,  Luther  L.  Pease;  sheriff',  John  \\'.  Brady; 
recorder  and  treasurer,  Ambrose  Carpenter ;  surveyor,  Albert  ^lorrison  ;  coroner, 
William  Hodges ;  drainage  commissioner,  Thomas  Landreth. 

For  the  adoption  of  the  new  constitution,  142 ;  against,  264. 

For  striking  the  word  "white"  out  of  the  article  on  the  right  of  suffrage,  63 ; 
against,  330. 

October    13,    1857 — Recorder  and  treasurer,  Erastus   G.   Morgan;   surveyor. 


*  Caused  by  death  of  Francis  Eslick. 

*^  Elections  contested  and  cases  tried  October  3,  and  4,  before  Judge  Meservey,  with 
vrhom  H.  G.  Pemberton  and  Eoscio  Royster  sat  as  associates.  Contest  on  grounds  of  legality 
of  votes  of  Boon  township.  The  court  held  these  votes  legal,  Eoyster  dissenting.  This  de- 
cision gave  the  office  of  clerk  to  L.  D.  C.  Maggart  and  that  of  sheriff  to  E.  H.  West.  The 
contest  for  the  office  of  recorder  and  treasurer,  instituted  by  Benjamin  McPheeter  was  com- 
promised, each  paying  one-half  the  cost,  and  William  T.  Woolsey  retaining  the  office.  October 
24,  1855,  Woolsey  made  George  T.  Gregory  his  deputy,  and  upon  Woolsey  resigning  the  office, 
August  4,  1856,  Gregor}'  was  appointed  in  his  place.  L.  D.  C.  Maggart  absconded  and  William 
E,oyster  was  appointed  to  fill  the  vacancy  January  1,  1856. 

t  John  D.  Maxwell  elected  but  decided  that  office  was  not  vacant  and  W.  X.  Meservey 
held  over. 

i  Resigned  March  4,  1857.     Francis  E.  Beers  appointed  to  fill,  vacancy. 

§  Resigned  August  3,  1857. 

§§  Elected  recorder  and  treasurer  after  his  death.  Erastus  G.  Morgan  appointed  to  serve 
until  October  election,  1857. 


ST.  JOSEPH'S  HOSPITAL,  J'ORT  DODGE 
Built  in  1908  and  dedicated  March  21,  1909,  by  Bishop  Garrigan 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  87 

James  Gilchrist;  drainage  commissioner,  Thomas  Flaherty;  coroner,  Benjamin 
F.  Brown ;  representative,  Cyrus  C.  Carpenter. 

For  license  law,  407;  against,  72. 

Special  election,  first  Monday,  April,  1858 — County  superintendent,  S.  B. 
Olney/^ 

Special  election,  June  28,  1858 — For  general  banking  law,  225;  against,  49. 
For  state  bank  of  Iowa,  291 ;  against,  24. 

October  2,  1858 — Clerk  of  district  court,  William  P.  Logan;  surveyor, 
Henry  W.  Ringland ;  drainage  commissioner,  Thomas  White ;  coroner,  John 
M.  Heffley.  (resigned  March  24,  i860). 

October  11,  1859 — County  judge,  William  N.  Mescrvey;  treasurer  and 
recorder,  E.  G.  ^Morgan ;  sherift",  John  W.  Brady ;  coroner,  Walter  Goodrich ; 
drainage  commissioner,  J.  R.  Paine ;  surveyor,  John  S.  Jenkins ;  county  super- 
intendent, Albert  Morrison :  representative,  Samuel  Rees. 

Special  election,  October  19,  1859 — Bond  issue  voted  September  22,  1856, 
rescinded.     For,  396 ;  against,  42. 

Special  election.  May  14,  i860 — For  bond  issue,  171;  against,  289.  For 
building  bridges,  113;  against,  347. 

Special  election,  September  24,  i860 — For  bond  issue,  288;  against,  239. 

November  6,  i860 — Clerk  of  district  court,  J.  H.  HoUoway;  coroner,  J.  F. 
Beyers;  board  of  supervisors  (for  two  years), f  Gasper  T.  Richey,  John  Garaghty, 
Adam  Groshart,  S.  K.  Barnes,  Richard  A'ancleave  (for  one  year)  ;t  T.  F.  Frisk, 
Walter  Goodrich,  S.  G.  Stevens,  N.  H.  Hart,  R.  P.  Furlong,  Daniel  Daniels. 

October  8,  1861 — County  judge,  L.  ]M.  Olcott ;  treasurer  and  recorder,  Isaac 
Garmoe;  sheriff,  John  Heffley;  county  superintendent,  L.  S.  Coffin;  drainage 
commissioner,  Norman  P.  Ellis ;  coroner,  B.  B.  Goodrich  ;:|:  surveyor,  \  irgil 
^Nloore;**  representative,  G.  T.  Richey;  board  of  .supervisors,  N.  H.  Hart,  W^alter 
Goodrich,  L.  S.  Coffin,  Daniel  Daniels,  Jonathan  Milburn,  Thomas  White. 

October  14,  i862§ — Clerk  of  district  court,  Hezekiah  Beecher;  coroner, 
William  Hodges;  surveyor,  John  W\  Brady  (one  year  to  fill  vacancy);  county 
superintendent,  E.  N.  Wilson ;§§  drainage  commissioner,  H.  L.  Walker;  board  of 
supervisors,  S.  K.  Barnes,  Miles  Allen,  Patrick  Condon,  Thomas  Sargent,  E.  A. 
Scott. 

October,  18631' — County  judge,  John  L.  Cheney;  recorder  and  treasurer, 
Isaac  Garmoe;  sheriff',  A.  F.  Blackshere;  surveyor,  John  S.  Jenkins;  county 
superintendent,  R.  E.  Carpenter;  coroner,  B.  F.  Allison;  drainage  commissioner, 
John  Beem ;  board  of  supervisors,  Daniel  Daniels,  H.  M.  Case,  John  Ware, 
"n.  H.  Hart,  ^lichael  Morrisey,  A.  S.  White. 

For  restraining  hogs  from  running  at  large,  237;  against,  191.  For  building 
bridges,  158;  against,  249. 


*  Seven  candidates  in  the  field,  and  vote  was  as  follows:  S.  B.  Olney,  372;  Francis 
Drake,  2;  Fred  Boot,  12;  John  Garaghty,  10;  C.  C.  Philbrook,  187;  Thomas  Cole,  21. 

**  S.  B.  Olney  resigned  February  1,  1859,  and  A.  M.  Dawley  appointed  to  fill  vacancy. 

t  Terms  fixed  at  first  meeting  of  board. 

t  Resigned  September  1,  1862,  and  A.  F.  Blackshere  appointed. 

§  Soldier  vote  was  included  in  the  first  canvass  of  the  returns  of  this  election. 

§§  Wilson  received  277  votes  and  E.  H.  Blain  234 — Board  of  Supervisors  held  that  under 
See.  62,  Chap.  172,  Acts  of  9th  G.  A.  no  election  could  take  place  for  this  oflSce. 

1 1  Board  met  October  19,  1863,  and  canvassed  the  home  vote  and  then  adjourned  to  await 
the  return  of  the  soldier  vote. 


88  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

November  8,  1864 — Clerk  of  district  court,  R.  E.  Carpenter;  county  recorder, 
John  L.  Cheyney ;  county  surveyor,  Thomas  Harlan ;  board  of  supervisors.  John 
Wilson,  Josiah  Conlee,  C.  C.  Carter,  G.  T.  Richey,  A.  Graves. 

Restraining  swine  from  running  at  large,  for,  408;  against,  181. 

October  10,  1865 — County  treasurer,  Jared  Fuller;  sherilY,  A.  F.  Blackshere; 
county  judge,  Isaac  Young;  county  superintendent,  E.  N.  Wilson;  surveyor, 
Thomas  Harlan;  coroner,  John  F.  Beyers;  drainage  commissioner,  Robert 
Scott ;  board  of  supervisors,  John  Linn,  B.  B.  Goodrich,  D.  V\l.  Prindle,  Charles 
W.  Maher,  D.  C.  Russell. 

Giving  board  power  to  increase  tax,  for,  392 ;  against,  269. 

Granting  a  bounty  to  soldiers,  for,  382;  against,  301. 

October  9,  1866 — Clerk  district  court,  Wilson  Lumpkin ;  recorder,  D.  H. 
Taylor ;  board  of  supervisors,  N.  H.  Hart,  C.  C.  Carter,  D.  W.  Prindle,  Josiah 
Conlee,  George  March.  John  Jameson.  Joel  L.  Clark,  John  L.  Kinney  (appointed 
to  fill  vacancy). 

October  8,  1867 — Treasurer,  Jonathan  Hutchinson;  county  judge.  James  R. 
Strow ;  surveyor,  George  S.  Killam;  county  superintendent,  D.  A.  Weller; 
coroner,  Francis  Brewer ;  sheriff,  Jacob  Walz ;  drainage  commissioner,  Daniel 
W.  Prindle;  board  of  supervisors,  Josiah  Conlee,  Joel  Clark,  John  L.  Kinney,  C. 
W.  Maher,  N.  H.  Hart,  Charles  Erickson,  F.  P.  Calkins,  Henry  Cox. 

November  3,  1868— Clerk  district  court,  Wilson  Lumpkin;  county  recorder, 
David  H.  Taylor;  board  of  supervisors,  John  L.  Kinney,  George  Marsh.  D.  W. 
Prindle,  C.  C.  Smeltzer,  Stephen  Reckard,  J.  B.  Scott,  Patrick  Condon. 

Note — At  this  election  five  amendments  to  the  constitution  were  voted  upon. 
All  of  them  concerned  the  striking  out  of  the  word  "white,"  from  the  several 
articles  of  the  constitution.  Amendment  i  gave  the  right  of  suffrage  to  all  males. 
Amendment  2  required  that  the  state  census  should  include  all  inhabitants. 
Amendments  3  and  4  concern  senatorial  and  representative  districts,  and  made 
the  basis  of  population,  constituting  such  districts;  to  include  all  inhabitants. 
Amendment  5  gave  the  right  of  service  in  the  militia  to  all  able  bodied  citizens. 

Amendent  One       Two     Three       Four      Five 

For    694         691         691         691         691 

Against    582         582         582         582         582 

October  12,  1869 — Representative,  Galusha  Parsons;  auditor,  Wilson  Lump- 
kin ;  treasurer,  Jonathan  Hutchinson ;  sheriff",  Jacob  Walz ;  county  superin- 
tendent, Rev.  J.  M.  Phillips;  surveyor,  George  S.  Killam;  coroner,  Elias  Caldwell; 
board  of  supervisors,  H.  P.  Cutting,  G.  A.  Erickson,  Preston  Yslu  Cleave,  F.  E. 
Scofield,  F.  P.  Calkins,  J.  P.  Lilygren,  C.  \\\  Maher.  J.  H.  Williams. 

Bonding  the  county,  for,  480;  against,  624. 

October  11,  1870 — Recorder,  D.  H.  Taylor;  clerk  of  district  court,  Wilson 
Lumpkin ;  board  of  supervisors,  L.  M.  Pratt,  E.  N.  Wilson,  William  B.  Crandall. 

Prohibitory  amendment,  for,  iii;  against,  231. 

Increasing  number  of  board  of  supervisors,  for,  579 ;  against,  338. 

October  10,  1871 — Sheriff,  E.  V.  Moore;  county  superintendent,  Frank  Far- 
rell ;  treasurer,  Jonathan  Hutchinson ;  representative,  John  F.  Duncombe ;  aud- 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  89 

itor,  J.  B.  Scott;  surveyor,  M.  E.  Smith;  coroner,  S.  B.  Olney;  board  of  super- 
visors, David  Lundeen,  H.  Beecher,  J.  L.  Brown. 

Prohibitory  amendment,  for,  493;  against,  643. 

Increasing  county  tax,  for,  159;  against,  999. 

November  5,  1872 — Recorder,  A.  Beach;  clerk  of  district  court,  Wilson  Lumij- 
kin;  board  of  supervisors,  L.  M.  Pratt. 

Authorizing  purchase  of  poor  farm,  for.  677;  against,  273. 

October  14,  1873 — Representative,  Silas  Corey;  treasurer,  Jonathan  Hutch- 
inson; auditor.  J.  B.  Scott;  sheriff,  E.  \^  Moore;  county  superintendent,  Frank 
Farrell ;  surveyor,  Fred  Hess;  coroner,  W.  L.  Nicholson;  board  of  supervisors, 

D.  S.  Coughlon,  C.  Knudson. 

Increasing  county  tax,  for,  100;  against,  11 59. 

October  13,  1874 — Clerk  of  district  court.  M.  H.  Bliss;  sheriff',  E.  London; 
recorder,  Jared  Fuller;  coroner,  John  McNulty;  super^■isor  district  No.  3.  N.  H. 
Hart ;  supervisor  district  No.  4.  John  Gabrielson. 

Restraining  stock  from  running  at  large  between  sunset  and  sunrise,  for,  855; 
against,  571. 

Restraining  stock  from  running  at  large  between  August  15  and  December  i, 
for,  624 ;  against,  767. 

October  12,  1875 — Representative,  Samuel  Rees;  auditor,  J.  B.  Scott;  sheriff, 
P.  \\'.  Chantland ;  treasurer,  Jonathan  Hutchinson ;  county  superintendent,  J.  A. 
Adams;  surveyor,  C.  H.  Pierce;  coroner.  S.  J.  Bennett;  supervisor  district  No.  5, 

E.  B.  Pierce. 

Building  bridge  at  Hart's  Ford,  for,  409;  against.  954. 

Building  bridge  at  Tyson's  Mill,  for,  466;  against,  908. 

November  7,  1876 — Clerk  of  district  court,  M.  H.  Bliss;  recorder,  Jared  Ful- 
ler; supervisor  district  No.  i,  N.  G.  Roosa;  supervisor  district  No.  2,  D.  S. 
Coughlon. 

October  9,  1877 — Representative,  Oliver  Tyson;  treasurer,  Arab  Leonard; 
auditor,  J.  B.  Scott;  sheriff',  P.  W.  Chantland;  coroner,  G.  \\  Patterson;  sur- 
veyor, Albert  Morrison;  county  superintendent,  Jabez  A.  Adams;  supervisor 
district  No.  3,  William  Ryan ;  supervisor  district  No.  4,  John  Gabrielson. 

October  9,  1878 — Clerk  of  district  court,  J.  E.  Powers;  recorder,  C.  Arnold; 
supervisor  district  No.  3,  Samuel  Rees ;  supervisor  district  No.  4.  Jacob  Ostrander. 

October  14,  1879 — Representative,  John  F.  Duncombe;  auditor,  John  Haire; 
treasurer,  Arab  Leonard ;  sheriff.  G.  W^  Hyatt ;  county  superintendent,  John  G. 
Tapper;  surveyor,  M.  E.  Smith;  coroner.  Dr.  E.  H.  Klueber;  supervisor  district 
No.  I,  Samuel  Heft'ner;  supervisor  district  No.  2,  P.  H.  Cain. 

November  2.  i88c> — Clerk  of  district  court,  M.  H.  Bliss;  recorder.  John 
Breen,  Jr.;  superxisor  district  No.  3,  .S.  J.  Bennett;  supervisor  district  No.  4, 
J.  L.  Kinney. 

Calling  convention  to  revise  constitution,  for,  1015;  against.  394, 

Striking  the  word  "free  white''  from  the  constitution,  for,  981 ;  against,  481. 

Levying  a  tax  of  six  and  one-half  mills,  for.  'J22\  against.  T460. 

Building  bridge  at  Hart's  Ford,  for,  794;  against,  1416. 

October  11,  1881 — Representative,  R.  M.  Wright;  auditor.  John  Haire; 
treasurer.  John  W.  Campbell ;  sheriff.  P.  W.  Chantland ;  county  superintendent, 


90  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  ■ 

J.  B.  Butler;  county  superintendent  (to  fill  vacancy),  D.  G.  Youker;  surveyor, 
C.  H.  Pierce;  coroner,  Theron  Nichols;  supervisor  district  No.  5,  Jacob  Ostrander. 

Special  election.  June  28,  1882 — Prohibitory  amendment,  for.  1498;  against, 
238. 

November  7,  1882 — Clerk  of  district  court,  M.  H.  Bliss;  recorder,  George 
H.  Porter;  supervisor  district  No.  i,  Samuel  Heffner;  supervisor  district  No. 
2,  P.  H.  Cain. 

October  9,  1883 — Representative,  Cyrus  C.  Carpenter;  treasurer,  John  W. 
Campbell ;  auditor,  John  Haire ;  sheriff,  P.  W.  Chantland ;  county  superintendent, 
John  B.  Butler;  surveyor.  F.  L.  Easley;  coroner,  A.  W.  Garlock;  supervisor 
district  No.  3,  S.  J.  Bennett ;  supervisor  district  No.  4,  E.  A.  Lynd. 

November  4,  1884 — Clerk  of  district  court,  M.  H.  Bliss;  recorder,  George  H. 
Porter;  coroner,  J.  N.  Palmer;  supervisor  district  No.  5,  A.  D.  Rolfe. 

Constitutional  amendment  fixing  election  on  the  first  Tuesday  after  the 
first  Monday  in  November,  for,  1109;  against,  107. 

Constitutional  amendment  giving  general  assembly  power  to  reorganize  judi- 
cial districts,  for,  903 ;  against,  293. 

Constitutional  amendment  fixing  the  number  of  grand  jurors  at  not  less 
than  three  nor  more  than  five,  for,  987 ;  against,  252. 

Constitutional  amendment  establishing  the  office  of  county  attorney  and  fix- 
ing the  number  of  members  of  the  general  assembly  at,  representatives,  108, 
senators,  50;  for,  1006;  against,  210. 

Novemljer  3,  1885 — Representative,  S.  T.  Meservey;  auditor,  J.  W.  Camp- 
bell;  treasurer,  D.  W.  Weller;  sheriff,  G.  F.  Gustafson;  county  superintendent, 
S.  B.  Wilkinson;  surveyor,  F.  L.  Easley;  coroner,  C.  H.  Paige;  supervisor  dis- 
trict No.  I,  Peter  Hannon;  supervisor  district  No.  2,  W.  C.  Ainsworth. 

Revision  state  constitution,  for,  321 ;  against,  1437. 

November  2,  1886 — County  attorney,  Albert  E.  Clark;  clerk  of  district  court, 
John  Haire ;  recorder,  George  H.  Porter ;  supervisor  district  No.  4,  John  T. 
Drug;  supervisor  district  No.  3.  Martin  White. 

Three  mill  tax  for  county  jail,  for,  573;  against,  1652. 

November  8,  1887 — Representative,  I.  L.  Woods;  auditor,  John  Wolfinger; 
treasurer,  J.  J.  Ryan;  sheriff,  J.  Q.  x\dams;  superintendent,  S.  B.  Wilkinson; 
surveyor,  J.  C.  W^illiams ;  coroner,  T.  F.  Grayson ;  supervisor  district  No.  5,  O.  F. 
Blunk. 

November  6.  1888 — County  attorney,  Chas.  H.  Moore;  clerk  of  district  court, 
David  J.  Haire;  recorder,  F.  W.  Kruckman;  supervisor  district  No.  i,  Peter 
Hannon ;  supervisor  district  No.  2,  John  T.  Hood. 

November  5,  1889 — Representative,  I.  L.  Woods;  auditor,  John  Wolfinger; 
treasurer,  J.  J.  Ryan;  sheriff,  J.  A.  Adams;  county  superintendent,  John  Carr; 
surveyor,  Fred  Hess;  coroner,  C.  H.  Churchill;  supervisor  district  No.  3,  Mar- 
tin White ;  supervisor  district  No.  4,  J.  T.  Drug. 

November  5,  1890 — Clerk  of  district  court,  D.  J.  Haire;  recorder,  D.  A. 
Peterson;  supervisor  district  No.  3,  Samuel  Rees;  supervisor  district  No.  5, 
Walter  Irvine;  county  attorney,  James  Martin. 

Restraining  stock  from  running  at  large,  for,  1416;  against,  976. 

Revision  of  constitution,  for,  321  ;  against,  1437. 


GREAT   WESTERN  CEREAL  COMPANY   PLANT,  FORT   DODGE. 
Bought  by  Quaker  Oats  Company,  1911 


■  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  91 

November  3,  1891 — Sherifif,  J.  A.  Adams;  treasurer,  C.  W.  Newton;  county 
superintendent,  John  Carr;  coroner,  C.  H.  Churchill;  surveyor,  Ezra  Young; 
supervisor  district  No.  i,  John  ]\Iallinger;  supervisor  district  No.  2,  John  T.  Hood; 
supervisor  district  No.  4,  John  Linn  (to  fill  vacancy). 

November  8,  1892 — Auditor,  T.  A.  Cunningham ;  clerk  of  district  court,  D. 
J.  Haire ;  recorder,  F.  O.  Blomgren ;  county  attorney,  W.  S.  Kenyon ;  county 
superintendent,  Charles  V.  Findlay;  supervisor  district  No.  3,  Joseph  Shaw; 
supervisor  district  No.  4,  John  A.  Lind. 

November  7,  1893 — Representative,  Sam  Burnquist;  treasurer,  C.  W.  New- 
ton; sherifif.  W.  C.  Woolsey;  county  superintendent,  C.  V.  Findlay;  surveyor, 
F.  S.  Hoyt :  coroner,  J.  W.  Sommers ;  supervisor  district  No.  5,  W.  V.  Manchester. 

November  6.  1894 — Clerk  of  district  court,  G.  F.  Rankin ;  auditor,  T.  A. 
Cunningham ;  county  attorney,  W.  S.  Kenyon ;  recorder,  F.  O.  Blomgren ;  coroner, 
A.  W.  Oarlock;  supervisor  district  No.  i,  A.  W.  Mallinger;  supervisor  district 
No.  2,  J.  R.  Coughlon. 

November  5,  1895 — Representative,  Jonas  P.  )ohnson;  treasurer,  J.  H.  Abel; 
sherifif,  W.  C.  Woolsey;  county  superintendent,  C.  V.  Findlay;  surveyor,  Fred 
Hoyt;  coroner,  J.  S.  Nelson;  supervisor  district  No.  3,  C.  P.  Julius;  supervisor 
district  No.  4,  John  A.  Lind. 

November  3,  1896 — Clerk  of  district  court,  G.  F.  Rankin;  auditor,  T.  A. 
Cunningham;  recorder.  Otto  Ottosen;  county  attorney,  William  T.  Chantland; 
supervisor  district  No.  5,  F.  B.  Drake. 

November  2,  1897 — Representative,  F.  J.  Blake;  treasurer,  J.  H.  Abel;  sherifif, 
F.  A.  Dowd;  county  superintendent,  C.  V.  Findlay;  surveyor,  F.  S.  Hoyt;  cor- 
oner, H.  Rose;  supervisor  district.  No.  i,  Andrew  Hannon;  supervisor  district 
No.  2,  J.  T.  Ryan. 

November  8,  1898 — Clerk  of  district  court,  G.  F.  Rankin;  recorder,  Otto 
Ottosen ;  auditor,  J.  F.  Ford ;  county  attorney,  William  T.  Chantland ;  supervisor 
district  No.  3,  (for  long  and  short  term)  S.  J.  Bennett;  supervisor  district  No. 
4,  Swan  Johnson. 

November  7,  1899 — Sherifif,  F.  A.  Dowd;  county  superintendent,  A.  L, 
Brown;  coroner,  H.  Rose;  treasurer,  J.  A.  Lindquist;  surveyor,  Charles  H. 
Reynolds;  supervisor  district  No.  5,  C.  O.  Hillstrom;  representative,  F.  J.  Blake. 

Building  courthouse  and  levying  tax  of  two  mills,  for,  2394;  against,   1146. 

November  6,  1900 — Auditor,  J.  F.  Ford ;  clerk  of  district  court,  Charles  H. 
Colby;  recorder.  Otto  Ottosen;  county  attorney,  C.  W.  Hackler;  supervisor 
district  No.  i,  A.  F.  Simpson;  supervisor  district  No.  2,  John  T.  Ryan. 

Constitutional  convention,  for  2647;  against,   1876. 

Biennial  election,  for,  2875;  against,  1691. 

November  5,  1901 — Representative,  S.  T.  Meservey;  treasurer,  J,  A.  Lind- 
quist; sherifif,  Henry  Oleson;  superintendent,  A.  L.  Brown;  surveyor,  Charles 
H.  Reynolds;  coroner,  A.  H.  McCreight;  supervisor  district  No.  3,  F.  W.  Collins; 
supervisor  district  No.  4,  Swan  Johnson ;  supervisor  district  No.  5,  J.  P.  Hillstrom. 

November  4,  1902 — County  auditor,  J.  F.  Ford ;  clerk  of  district  court,  C.  H. 
Colby;  recorder,  A.  C.  Smith;  county  attorney,  C.  W.  Hackler;  supervisor  dis- 
trict No.  5,  J.  P.  Hillstrom. 

Levying  tax  of  one  mill  to  build  memorial  hall  and  soldiers'  monument,  for 

1444;  against,  2218. 
Vol.  1—7 


92  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

November  3,  1903 — Representative,  R.  M.  Wright;  treasurer,  J.  T.  Ryan; 
sheriff,  Henry  Olson;  county  superintendent,  A.  L.  Brown;  surveyor,  C.  H. 
Reynolds;  coroner,  A.  H.  McCreight;  supervisor  district  No.  i,  A.  F.  Simpson; 
supervisor  district  No.  2,  P.  H.  Cain. 

November  8,  1904 — County  auditor,  H.  S.  Holm ;  clerk  of  district  court, 
Henry  L.  ^^^eiss ;  recorder,  A.  C.  Smith ;  county  attorney,  B.  J.  Price ;  supervisor 
district  No.  3,  Frank  W.  Collins;  supervisor  district  No.  4,  Anton  Byer. 

Biennial  election,  for,  2181 ;  against,  2657. 

Representative  amendment,  for,  1897;  against,  2492. 

November  6,  1906— County  attorney,  Charles  W.  Hackler;  auditor,  H.  S. 
Holm ;  treasurer,  Peter  Hadley ;  clerk  of  district  court,  C.  A.  Bryant ;  sheriff,. 
Henry  Olson;  county  superintendent,  M.  P.  Somes  (to  fill  vacancy);  county 
superintendent,  E.  E.  Cavanaugh ;  surveyor,  Charles  H.  Reynolds ;  coroner.  Dr. 
J.  D.  Lowry;  supervisor  district  No.  i,  P.  J.  Mitchell;  supervisor  district  No.  3, 
E.  H.  Peschau;  supervisor  district  No.  4,  Anton  Byer;  supervisor  district  No.  5,. 
Charles  A.  Anderson ;  supervisor  district  No.  2,  D.  S.  Coughlon. 

November  3.  1908 — Representative,  Charles  W.  Hackler;  auditor,  James  L. 
Hanrahan ;  treasurer,  Peter  Hadley ;  clerk  of  district  court,  C.  A.  Bryant ;  sheriff, 
Rasmus  S.  Lund ;  recorder,  Louis  Fessler ;  county  attorney,  F.  A.  Grosenbaugh ; 
county  superintendent,  E.  E.  Cavanaugh.  Resigned  1909 — Miss  Mary  Carey 
appointed  to  fill  vacancy.  Surveyor,  C.  H.  Reynolds;  coroner,  J.  D.  Lowry; 
supervisor  district  No.  i,  P.  J.  Mitchell;  supervisor  district  No.  2,  D.  S.  Cough- 
ion  ;  supervisor  district  No.  5,  F.  G.  Cochran.* 

November  8,  1910 — Representative,  John  W.  Campbell ;  county  auditor,  James 
L.  Hanrahan ;  county  treasurer,  A.  C.  Lindberg ;  sheriff',  Rasmus  S.  Lund ; 
recorder,  Maude  Lauderdale;  county  attorney,  B.  B.  Burnquist;  county  superin- 
tendent, Mary  A.  Carey;  coroner,  J.  D.  Lowry;  supervisor  district  No.  3,  F.  H. 
Frahm;  supervisor  district  No.  4,  Anton  Byer;  supervisor  district  No.  5,  C.  A. 
Anderson. 

Constitutional  convention  to  revise  constitution  and  amendment  to  the  same, 
for,  2435;  against,  2196. 

November  5,  1912 — Representative,  Peter  Hadley;  treasurer,  A.  C.  Lindberg; 
recorder,  Maude  Lauderdale;  clerk,  G.  L.  Lindquist;  county  superintendent,. 
Mary  A.  Carey;  coroner,  J.  D.  Lowry;  auditor,  James  L.  Hanrahan;  supervisor 
district  No.  i,  B.  J.  Simpson;  supervisor  district  No.  2,  Gus  Voights;  supervisor 
district  No.  3,  F.  H.  Frahm;  supervisor  district  No.  4,  L  L.  Reedholm.  (Term 
begins  1914.) 


Eeturns  show  Cochran  elected,  but  on  contest  went  to  his  opponent  C.  A.  Anderson 


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CHAPTER  IX 
WEBSTER  COUNTY  IN  CIVIL  WAR 


• 


COMPANY  '%"  THIRTY-SECOND  REGIMENT 
IOWA  VOLUNTEER  INFANTRY 

On  the  9th  day  of  July,  1862,  Samuel  J.  Kirkwood,  governor  of  Iowa,  issued 
the  following  proclamation : 

I  have  this  day  received  from  the  secretary  of  war  a  telegram,  requesting 
me  to  raise  as  soon  as  practicable,  for  the  United  States  service,  for  three 
years  or  during  the  war,  five  regiments  of  volunteer  infantry,  being  a  part  of 
the  quota  of  this  state,  under  the  late  call  of  the  president  for  300,000  men.  The 
preservation  of  the  Union,  the  perpetuity  of  our  government,  the  honor  of  our 
state,  demand  that  this  requisition  shall  be  promptly  met.  Our  harvest  is  upon 
us,  and  we  have  feared  a  lack  of  force  to  secure  it.  But  we  must  imitate  our 
brave  Iowa  boys  in  the  field,  meet  new  emergencies  with  jiew  exertions.  Our 
old  men  and  our  boys  unfit  for  war,  if  need  be,  our  women,  must  help  to 
gather  harvest,  while  those  able  to  bear  arms  go  forth  to  aid  their  brave  brethren 
in  the  field.  The  necessity  is  urgent.  Our  national  existence  is  at  stake.  The 
more  promptly  the  president  is  furnished  the  needed  troops,  the  more  speedily 
will  this  unholy  rebellion  be  crushed,  and  the  blessings  of  peace  again  visit  our 
land.  Until  then  we  men  must  expect  the  hardships  and  privations  of  war.  The 
time  has  come  when  men  must  make — as  many  have  already  made — sacrifices 
of  ease,  comfort  and  business,  for  the  cause  of  the  country.  The  enemy,  by 
a  sweeping  conscription,  have  forced  into  their  ranks  all  men  capable  of  bearing 
arms.  Our  government  has,  as  yet,  relied  upon  the  voluntary  action  of  our  citi- 
zens. But,  if  need  be,  the  same  energies  must  be  exerted  to  preserve  our  govern- 
ment that  traitors  are  using  to  destroy  it.     *     *     * 

Iowa  City,  July  9,  1862.  Samuel  J.  Kirkwood. 

The  patriotic  sons  of  Iowa  promptly  responded  to  this  earnest  appeal  of  tiie 
governor.  The  Thirty-second  Infantry  was  one  of  the  five  regiments  that  were 
organized  and  sent  ,.to  the  field  in  compliance  with  this  call  of  the  president. 
Recruiting  began  as  soon  as  the  governor's  proclamation  was  published.  Camp 
Franklin,  near  Dubuque,  Iowa,  was  designated  by  the  governor  as  the  rendezvous 
of  the  regiment.  The  ten  companies  were  ordered  into  quarters  as  fast  as  their 
organizations  were  completed.  It  would  appear,  from  the  wide  discrepancy  in 
dates  upon  which  the  orders  were  given,  that  some  of  the  companies  had  been 
partially,  if  not  wholly,  organized  in  anticipation  of  the  call,  as  the  dates  of  the 

93 


94  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

orders  ranged  from  July  3  to  September  8,  1862.  Upon  the  latter  date  the 
companies  had  all  assembled  at  Camp  Franklin,  and,  on  the  6th  day  of  October, 
1862,  they  were  there  mustered  into  the  service  of  the  United  States,  by  Captain 
George  S.  Pierce,  of  the  regular  army,  and  the  organization  of  the  regiment  was 
completed  by  the  muster  in  of  the  field  and  staff  officers  on  the  same  date. 

Colonel  John  Scott  had  resigned  the  office  of  Lieutenant  Colonel  of  the 
Third  Iowa  Infantry,  upon  being  tendered  the  appointment,  by  Governor  Kirk- 
wood,  of  the  office  of  colonel  of  the  Thirty-second  Infantry.  Upon  the  recom- 
mendation of  Colonel  Scott,  the  governor  appointed  Edward  H.  Mix,  lieutenant 
colonel,  and  Gustavus  A.  Eberhart,  major,  of  the  regiment.  These  officers  had 
all  had  the  benefit  of  experience  as  soldiers  in  one  of  the  first  regiments  that 
the  state  had  sent  into  the  field  (the  Third  Iowa  Infantry),  and  had  fully  demon- 
strated their  fitness  and  capacity  to  properly  discharge  the  duties  of  their  respec- 
tive offices.  The  staff  officers  were  all  men  of  high  character  and  ability,  and 
the  regiment  was  fortunate  in  their  selection.  The  same  may  be  said  of  the 
company  officers.  An  examination  of  the  roster  of  the  Thirty-second  Iowa  will 
show  that  the  average  age  of  both  officers  and  men  was  greater  than  that  of 
the  earlier  regiments,  and  there  was  a  proportionately  larger  number  of  married 
men  among  them.  The  records  show  that  there  was  an  aggregate  number  of 
925  men  and  officers  in  the  regiment,  at  the  date  of  its  muster  into  the  service. 
During  its  stay  at  Camp  Franklin,  the  time  was  utilized  to  the  best  advantage, 
and,  when  the  regiment  left  the  state,  it  had  probably  acquired  a  better  general 
knowledge  of  the  duties  it  would  be  called  upon  to  perform,  than  most  of  the 
regiments  which  preceded  it  had  been  able  to  obtain,  prior  to  leaving  their 
rendezvous. 

On  November  16,  1862,  the  regiment  embarked  on  transports  and  was  con- 
veyed to  St.  Louis,  ]\Iissouri,  and  went  into  quarters  at  Benton  Barracks.  On 
November  25th,  by  order  of  Major  General  Curtis,  commanding  department  of 
Missouri,  Companies  B,  C,  E,  H,  I  and  K,  with  the  regimental  headquarters,  left 
St.  Louis  and  were  conveyed  to  New  Madrid,  Missouri,  and,  on  the  next  day, 
Companies  A,  D,  F  and  G,  under  command  of  Major  Eberhart,  were  conveyed  to 
Cape  Girardeau,  Missouri.  From  this  time  until  March  4,  1864,  the  operations 
of  the  detachment  of  the  four  companies  under  Major  Eberhart  and  the  six  com- 
panies under  Colonel  Scott  were  distinct,  separate  and  independent  of  each  other. 

Upon  arriving  at  New  Madrid  with  the  six  companies  of  his  regiment.  Colonel 
Scott,  in  accordance  with  his  instructions,  assumed  command  of  the  post.  It  did 
not  take  him  long  to  discover  that,  prior  to  his  arrival,  disloyal  men  had  been 
favored  and  protected;  that  large  amounts  of  merchandise  of  all  descriptions 
had  been  distributed  from  New  Madrid  and  had  gone  beyond  the  Union  lines, 
into  the  possession  of  those  who  were  engaged  in  armed  rebellion.  Negroes,  who 
had  escaped  and  sought  protection  of  the  L^nion  soldiers,  had  been  returned  to 
slavery.  Colonel  Scott  did  not  believe  in  the  policy  of  conciliating  those  who 
were  in  full  sympathy  with  the  rebellion  and  who  were  active  in  their  efforts 
to  furnish  aid  and  comfort  to  the  enemy.  The  most  active  of  those  rebel 
sympathizers  was  a  man  who  was  not  a  naturalized  citizen  of  the  United  States, 
and  who  claimed  the  protection  of  the  British  government.  The  general  in 
command  of  the  department  listened  to  the  protests  of  those  who  wanted  to 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  95 

have  Colonel  Scott  removed  from  the  command  of  the  post  and  strange  as  it  may- 
appear,  seemed  inclined  to  grant  their  request. 

On  the  17th  of  December,  a  detachment  from  Colonel  Scott's  command,  com- 
posed of  Companies  C  and  I,  under  command  of  Captain  Peebles,  made  a  recon- 
noissance  into  the  country  west  of  New  Madrid.  The  detachment  was  absent  five 
days,  marched  about  one  hundred  miles,  and  captured  eight  prisoners  and  a 
quantity  of  arms  and  stock.  It  discovered  no  considerable  force  of  the  enemy, 
and  showed  that  the  report  that  a  large  rebel  force  was  moving  against  New 
Madrid  was  without  foundation.  On  December  23d  Colonel  Scott,  with  a 
detachment  from  his  command,  embarked  on  the  steamer  "Davenport"  and  pro- 
ceeded on  a  tour  of  examination  of  the  points  along  the  river  at  which  illicit  trade 
(or  smuggling  goods  into  the  enemy's  lines)  was  being  carried  on,  with  the  view 
to  prevent  same,  as  far  as  it  was  possible  to  do  so  with  the  resources  at  his 
command.  On  his  return  from  this  trip.  Colonel  Scott  reported  to  General 
Thomas  A.  Davies,  at  Columbus,  Kentucky,  who  had  command  of  the  military 
district  of  Columbus,  and  who  claimed  that  the  post  of  New  Madrid  was  included 
in  his  district,  and  was  supported  in  that  statement  by  General  Fisk,  who  was 
present  and  who  had  just  returned  from  the  headquarters  of  General  Curtis  in  St. 
Louis.  Up  to  that  time  Colonel  Scott  had  received  his  orders  direct  from 
General  Curtis.  General  Davies  stated  that  it  was  necessary  that  Colonel  Scott 
should  at  once  abandon  the  post  at  New  Madrid,  and  proceed  with  his  com- 
mand to  Fort  Pillow,  which  was  in  danger  of  being  captured  by  the  enemy. 
Feeling  that  the  abandonment  of  New  Madrid  was  unwise,  but  recognizing  the 
fact  that  General  Davies  was  his  superior  officer.  Colonel  Scott  took  the  precau- 
tion to  request  a  written  order,  which  was  given,  as  follows : 

Columbus,  December  27,  1862. 
Colonel  Scott,  Commanding  Thirty-second  Iowa,  New  Madrid : 

You  will  immediately  proceed  to  New  Madrid,  burn  the  gun  carriages  and 
wooden  platforms,  and  spike  the  guns  and  destroy  the  ammunition  totally.  Take 
the  same  boat  and  proceed  to  Fort  Pillow,  under  convoy  of  gunboat,  and 
report  to  Colonel  Wolfe,  commanding  at  that  place. 

Thomas  A.  Davies,  Brigadier  General. 

Colonel  Scott,  having  made  personal  protest  against  the  necessity  for  this 
order,  proceeded  to  obey  it,  and  carried  out  his  instructions  to  the  letter.  He 
proceeded  with  his  command  to  Fort  Pillow  and  reported  to  the  commander. 
Colonel  Wolfe,  for  duty.  General  Curtis  censured  Colonel  Scott  for  obeying  the 
order  of  General  Davies,  and  a  military  commission  was  appointed  to  investigate 
the  matter  and  report  its  findings  to  General  Curtis.  After  a  full  and  complete 
investigation,  the  commission  found  that  Colonel  Scott  did  right  in  obeying  the 
order,  that  he  simply  performed  his  duty,  and  was  honorably  acquitted  of  all 
blame.  The  report  was  signed  by  Brigadier  General  William  K.  Strong,  presi- 
dent, and  Colonel  Albert  G.  Bracket,  recorder,  of  the  commission,  and  the  find- 
ings were  approved  by  General  Curtis,  and  thus  Colonel  Scott  was  completely 
vindicated  from  the  unjust  censure,  not  only  by  the  commission,  but  by  General 
Curtis  himself.  It  is  the  first  duty  of  the  soldier  to  obey  orders,  otherwise  it 
would  be  impossible  to  maintain  discipline.    There  were  many  instances  in  which 


96  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

subordinate  officers  yielded  prompt  obedience  to  orders  which  as  subsequent 
events  proved,  were  unwise  and  should  not  have  been  given,  but  the  officer  in 
authority  had  the  right  to  demand  obedience,  and  those  under  his  command  were 
bound  to  obey,  no  matter  what  their  opinion  might  be  as  to  the  wisdom  or  unwis- 
dom of  the  order.  It  will,  therefore,  be  seen  that  Colonel  Scott  simply  acted  the 
part  of  a  true  soldier,  and  gave  a  good  example  to  the  officers  and  men  of  his  own 
regiment,  who  like  himself,  could  not  see  the  necessity  for  abandoning  the  post. 

The  headquarters  of  the  regiment  remained  at  Fort  Pillow  until  June  i8, 
1863.  During  a  part  of  this  time  Company  B,  with  Capt.  A.  B.  Miller  in  com- 
mand, occupied  the  post  at  Fulton,  Tennessee,  three  miles  below  Fort  Pillow. 
Detachments  were  sent  on  scouts  in  the  vicinity  of  the  fort,  from  time  to 
time,  acting  in  conjunction  with  the  Second  Illinois  Cavalry,  and  occasionally 
these  scouting  parties  came  into  contact  with  the  enemy,  but  the  fighting  which 
took  place  mainly  devolved  upon  the  cavalry  which  proceeded  in  advance,  the 
infantry  following  as  a  support  in  case  the  enemy  were  found  in  considerable 
force,  which  was  seldom  the  case.  Garrison  duty  and  daily  drill  was  the 
principal  duty  of  the  troops  at  Fort  Pillow.  On  the  17th  and  iSth  of  June, 
1863,  the  six  companies  of  the  Thirty-second  Iowa  embarked  on  transports  and 
were  conveyed  to  Columbus,  Kentucky,  at  which  place  they  went  into  camp  and 
remained  until  January  21,  1864. 

On  July  10,  1863,  Union  City  was  captured  by  a  force  of  rebels.  This  place 
was  twenty-six  miles  south  of  Columbus,  on  the  Mobile  &  Ohio  Railroad. 
Colonel  Scott  received  orders  to  proceed  with  his  command  by  rail  to  Union 
City,  which  order  was  promptly  obeyed,  but  the  enemy  abandoned  the  place  and 
retreated  rapidly  before  Colonel  Scott's  command  arrived  and,  in  ol)edience  to 
orders  from  General  Asboth,  the  colonel  returned  with  his  troops  to  Columbus. 
On  July  II,  1863,  Colonel  Scott  succeeded  to  the  command  of  the  post  of  Colum- 
bus. At  this  time  Company  C,  Captain  Peebles  commanding,  was  mounted  and 
attached  to  the  Fourth  Missouri  Cavalry,  for  scouting  duty.  Company  E,  under 
Captain  Jones,  was  sent  to  Fort  Quimby,  near  Columbus,  and  Companies  H 
and  K,  under  Captain  Benson,  were  sent  to  Island  Number  Ten.  This  left  only 
Companies  B  and  I  on  duty  at  regimental  headquarters,  with  Captain  A.  B. 
Miller  in  command,  Lieutenant  Colonel  Mix  being  absent  at  that  time,  as  presi- 
dent of  a  court-martial  at  Cairo,  111.  The  service  performed  by  Company  C, 
with  the  Fourth  ^Missouri  Cavalry,  was  arduous  and  important.  That  regiment 
was  constantly  in  pursuit  of  roving  bands  of  the  enemy,  engaged  in  securing  and 
forwarding  conscripts  to  the  rebel  army,  and  in  committing  depredations  upon 
the  property  of  loyal  citizens  in  the  surrounding  regions  of  Kentucky  and 
Tennessee.  These  expeditions  extended,  over  hundreds  of  miles  and  involved 
much  hardship  to  the  troops  engaged  in  them.  The  two  companies  at  Island 
Number  Ten  also  made  frequent  expeditions  upon  both  sides  of  the  river,  in  one 
of  which  John  D.  Baker,  of  Company  H,  was  killed. 

On  January  20,  1864,  Colonel  Scott  received  orders  to  assemble  the  six 
companies  of  his  regiment  at  Columbus,  where  they  shortly  afterwards  embarked 
and  were  conveyed  to  Vicksburg,  ]\Iississippi,  where  they  disembarked  and  went 
into  camp.  General  Sherman  was  just  then  completing  his  preparations  for  that 
remarkal)le  expedition  which  penetrated  into  the  heart  of  the  state  of  Mississippi 
and  inflicted  a  telling  blow  to  the  rebellion,  in  that  portion  of  the  south,  from 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  97 

■which  it  never  fully  recovered.  Colonel  Scott's  detachment  of  the  Thirty-second 
Iowa  was  assigned  to  the  Second  Brigade  of  the  Third  Division  of  the  Sixteenth 
Army  Corps ;  Col.  William  T.  Shaw  of  the  Fourteenth  Iowa  Infantry  was  in 
command  of  the  brigade ;  Brigadier  General  A.  J.  Smith  commanded  the  division, 
and  Maj.  Gen.  S.  A.  Hurlbut  was  in  command  of  the  corps.  The  army  left 
Vicksburg  on  the  3d  day  of  February,  and  returned  to  that  place  on  March  4, 

1864,  having  marched  328  miles.  The  troops  had  been  supplied  with  but  ten 
days'  rations  when  the  march  began,  and,  after  that  supply  was  exhausted,  lived 
upon  such  food  as  could  be  obtained  in  the  country  through  which  they 
passed.  This  involved  the  necessity  of  sending  out  forage  trains  every  day, 
with  large  details  to  guard  them,  as  the  enemy's  cavalry  in  large  force  hovered 
in  front  and  upon  either  flank  of  General  Sherman's  army,  which  was  composed 
of  the  Sixteenth  and  Seventeenth  Corps  and  one  division  of  cavalry.  There  was 
more  or  less  fighting  every  day.  mainly  done  by  the  cavalry  which  led  the  advance 
and  by  the  infantry  which  constituted  the  guard  to  forage  trains.  The  troops  had 
no  tents  while  on  this  expedition  and  suffered  much  from  the  inclemency  of  the 
weather.  The  six  companies  of  the  Thirty-second  Iowa,  under  command  of 
Colonel  Scott,  performed  their  share  of  duty  upon  this  long  and  arduous  march, 
but  they  did  not  come  into  contact  with  any  considerable  body  of  the  enemy.  The 
only  casualties  reported  were :  George  A.  Todd,  of  Company  I,  captured,  and 
Edward  Flood,  of  Company  C,  killed,  while  engaged  in  guarding  forage  train. 
At  the  close  of  his  official  report.  Colonel  Scott  says :  "The  labors  and  privations 
of  this  expedition  were  borne  alike,  by  officers  and  men,  with  great  cheerfulness, 
and  a  capacity  for  enduring  ,  fatigue  and  exposure  both  gratifying  and 
astonishing."  ■  ' . . 

The  six  companies  of  the  regiment  arrived  at  Vicksburg,  on  their  return 
from  the  Meridian  Expedition,  on  March  4,  1864,  and  were  there  joined  by  the 
other  four  companies  from  whom  they  had  been  so  long  separated. 

ROSTER   COMPANY   I   THIRTY-SECOND  REGIMENT   IOWA   VOLUNTEER   INFANTRY 

Jonathan  Hutchinson,  captain ;  Amos  S.  Collins,  first  lieutenant ;  Alexander 
Dowd,  second  lieutenant. 

Allison,  Alexander  D.,  age  eighteen;  residence,  Dayton;  nativity,  Indiana; 
enlisted,  February  28,  1864;  mustered,  February  28,  1864;  transferred  to  Com- 
pany A,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Andrews,  Celestius  B.,  age  twenty-six;  residence,  Otho;  nativity,  Ohio; 
enlisted,  August  16,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  August  24, 

1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Auyer,  Cyrus  D.,  age  nineteen ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity.  New  York ; 
enlisted.  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  June  2,  1865, 
]\Iemphis,  Tennessee. 

Baldridge,  Isaac  N.,  age  eighteen;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity,  New 
York;  enlisted,  February  29,  1864;  mustered,  February  29,  1864;  transferred 
to  Company  A,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Baldridge,  James,  age  twenty-two;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity,  Illi- 
nois; enlisted,  August  12,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  wounded;  discharged 
for  disability,  May  20,  1865,  Davenport,  Iowa. 


98  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Baldridge,  Samuel,  age  thirty-two ;  residence,  Dayton ;  nativity.  Illinois ; 
enlisted,  August  12,  1862;  mustered,  December  24,  1862;  died  of  disease,  June 
12,  1863,  Fort  Pillow,  Tennessee;  buried  in  Mississippi  River  National  Cemetery, 
jMemphis,  Tennessee,  section  i,  grave  106. 

Baldridge,  Thomas  ].,  age  twenty-five ;  residence,  Webster  county ;  nativity, 
Illinois;  enlisted,  February  29,  1864;  mustered,  February  29,  1864;  transferred 
to  Company  A,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,   1865. 

Baldwin,  Philander  R.,  age  twenty-five ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity, 
Illinois;  enlisted,  August  20,  1862,  as  first  corporal;  mustered,  October  7,  1862; 
promoted  fifth  sergeant,  October  6,  1862;  fourth  sergeant.  May  30,  1864;  third 
sergeant,  July  4,  1864;  mustered  out,  August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Barnes,  John  F. ;  rejected,  August  22,  1862,  by  mustering  officer. 

Beach,  Alexander,  age  twenty-five;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity.  Ohio; 
enlisted,  January  4,  1864;  mustered,  January  4,  1864;  transferred  to  Company 
A,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Binkley,  Perry,  age  eighteen;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity.  Iowa; 
enlisted,  January  14,  1865 ;  mustered,  January  14,  1865 ;  transferred  to  Com- 
pany A,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Birchard,  Abner  T.,  age  twenty-seven;  residence,  Boonsborough :  nativity, 
Pennsylvania;  enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  promoted, 
quartermaster  sergeant,  November  8,  1862;  mustered  out.  May  12.  1865,  St. 
Louis,  Missouri. 

Blackman,  Henry,  enlisted,  Alay  i,  1863,  as  under  cook;  mustered,  June  30, 
1863 ;  no  further  record  found. 

Blain,  George,  age  eighteen ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Pennsylvania ; 
enlisted,  August  13,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  died  of  disease.  July  19, 

1864,  Memphis,    Tennessee;    buried    in    Mississippi    River    National    Cemetery, 
Memphis,  Tennessee,  section  i,  grave  310. 

Bond,  Judson  A.,  age  eighteen;  residence,  Crawford  county;  nativity,  ]\Iassa- 
chusetts;  enlisted,  December  25,  1863;  mustered,  December  25,  1863;  transferred 
to  Company  A,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Booth,  Ambrose,  age  thirty-nine ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  England ; 
enlisted,  August  19,  1862,  as  fifth  sergeant;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  promoted 
first  sergeant,  October  6,  1862;  second  lieutenant,  April  ir,  1864;  first  lieutenant, 
October  14,  1864;  mustered  out,  i\ugust  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Booth,  Henry,  age  eighteen ;  residence,  Webster  county ;  nativity.  England ; 
enlisted,  January  2,  1864;  mustered,  January  2,  1864;  transferred  to  Company  A, 
Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865.  (Henry  B.  Booth.) 

Boyle,  Richard;  enlisted,  June  30,  1863,  as  under  cook;  mustered,  June  30, 
1863;  no  further  record  found. 

Brewer,  Oliver,  age  eighteen ;  residence,  Webster  county ;  nativity.  New  York ; 
enlisted,  January  30,  1865 ;  mustered,  January  30,  1865 ;  transferred  to  Company 
A,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865.     (Oliver  A.  Brewer.) 

Brown,  Charles  R.,  age  twenty-two;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity.  Illinois; 
enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  August  24, 

1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Byrne,  James,  age  twenty-three ;  residence,  Dayton ;  nativity.  Illinois ; 
enlisted,  August  12,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  August  24, 
1865.  Clinton,  Iowa. 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  99 

Byrne,  John,  age  twenty-one ;  residence,  Dayton ;  nativity,  Illinois ;  enlisted, 
/agust   15,   1862;  mustered,  October  7,   1862;  mustered  out,  August  24,   1865, 
''Clinton,  Iowa. 

Carey,  James,  age  twenty-eight;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Ireland; 
enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  August  24, 
1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Cass,  George  T.,  age  thirty ;  residence,  Dakotah ;  nativity.  New  Hampshire ; 
enlisted,  August  22,  1862,  as  second  corporal;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  pro- 
moted first  corporal,  October  6,  1862;  discharged  for  disability,  December  19, 
1863,  Columbus,  Kentucky. 

Chandler,  Robert,  age  twenty-one ;  residence,  Hardin  county ;  nativity,  Ten- 
nessee; enlisted,  November  16,  1863;  deserted,  January  25,  1864,  ^Memphis, 
Tennessee. 

Claflin,  Cornelius,  age  thirty-nine;  residence,  Otho;  nativity,  New  York; 
enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  discharged  for  promotion 
as  first  lieutenant  Fiftieth, United  States  Colored  Infantry,  December  30,  1863. 

Clark,  John  H.,  age  eighteen;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa;  enlisted, 
January  4,  1864;  mustered,  January  4,  1864;  transferred  to  Company  A,  Eighth 
Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Coffin,  Lorenzo  S.,  age  thirty-eight;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity.  New 
Hampshire;  enlisted,  August  22,  1862,  as  first  sergeant;  mustered  October  7, 
1862;  promoted  quartermaster  sergeant,  October  6,   1862. 

Collins,  Amos  S.,  age  thirty ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Pennsylvania ; 
appointed  first  lieutenant,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  resigned 
for  promotion  in  Veteran  Reserve  Corps,  October  13,  1864.  Company  D, 
Sixteenth  Infantry.      (James  S.  Collins.) 

Conlee,  Horace  D.,  age  twenty-two ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Illinois ; 
enlisted,  January  2,  1864;  mustered,  January  2,  1864;  transferred  to  Company 
A,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Conlee,  Smith  T.,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity,  Illi- 
nois; enlisted,  January  11,  1865;  mustered,  January  11,  1865;  transferred  to 
Company  A,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,   1865. 

Crosby,  Charles  T.,  age  twenty-seven ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity.  New 
York;  enlisted,  January  2,  1864;  mustered,  January  2,  1864;  transferred  to  Com- 
pany A,  Eighth  Infantry,   1865. 

Crosby,  George  H.,  age  twenty-three;  residence,  Kossuth  county:  nativity, 
New  York;  enlisted,  January  25,  1865;  mustered,  January  25,  1865;  transferred 
to  Company  A,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Crosby,  William  H.,  age  sixteen;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity.  New  York; 
enlisted,  July  28,  1863 ;  mustered,  July  28,  1863 ;  promoted  musician ;  transferred 
to  Company  A,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Cusey,  Henry  C,  age  eighteen ;  residence,  Dakotah ;  nativity,  Illinois ;  enlisted, 
August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  August  24.  1865, 
Clinton,  Iowa. 

Davis,  Albert,  age  thirty-five ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Nova  Scotia ; 
enlisted,  January  2,  1864;  mustered,  January  2,  1864;  transferred  to  Company 
A,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

De  Witt,  Francis  M.,  age  twenty-seven ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity.  Ken- 


634775 


100  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

tucky;  enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  transferred  to 
Veteran  Reserve  Corps,  July  30,  1864;  discharged  for  disability,  February  25, 
1865. 

De  Witt,  George  W.,  age  eighteen;  enlisted,  January  30,  1865;  mustered,  Jan- 
uary 30,  1865 ;  transferred  to  Company  A,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

De  Witt,  Simon  J.,  age  twenty-one ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Ken- 
tucky; enlisted,  November  21,  1863;  mustered,  November  21,  1863;  died  of 
disease,  March  14,  1864,  Memphis,  Tennessee;  buried  in  Mississippi  River 
National  Cemetery,  Memphis,  Tennessee,  section  i,  grave  212. 

Dowd,  Alexander,  age  thirty-three;  residence,  Dayton;  nativity,  Ohio; 
appointed  second  lieutenant,  August  12,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  pro- 
moted captain,  April  10,  1864;  mustered  out,  August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Dwyer,  Michael,  age  twenty- four ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Ireland; 
enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  discharged  for  disability, 
May  29,  1863,  Fort  Pillow,  Tennessee. 

Edson.  William,  age  twenty-eight;  residence,  Otho;  nativity,  ^Massachusetts ; 
enlisted,  August  16,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  June  17, 
1865,  Chicago,  Illinois. 

Ewing,  James  R.,  age  twenty-two;  residence,  Border  Plains;  nativity,  Penn- 
sylvania; enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  promoted  eighth 
corporal,  October  10,  1864;  fifth  corporal,  December  5,  1864;  mustered  out, 
August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Fagan,  Michael,  age  eighteen ;  residence,  Palo  Alto  county ;  nativity,  Ire- 
land; enlisted,  January  4,  1863;  mustered,  January  4,  1863;  died,  February  25, 
1864,  Cairo,  Illinois ;  buried  in  National  Cemetery,  Mound  City,  Illinois. 

Flaherty,  Edward,  age  twenty-four ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity-,  Mary- 
land; enlisted,  August  20,  1862,  as  eighth  corporal;  mustered,  October  3,  1862; 
promoted,  seventh  corporal,  October  6,  1862;  sixth  corporal,  December  2^,, 
1863;  fifth  corporal,  May  30,  1864;  third  corporal,  July  4,  1864;  second  cor- 
poral, December  5,  1864;  mustered  out,  August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Fogarty,  Edward,  age  thirty-six ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Ireland ; 
enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  21,  1862;  wounded.  May  18, 
1864,  Yellow  Bayou,  Louisiana;  mustered  out,  August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Ford,  John  H.,  age  twenty-five ;  residence,  Dakotah ;  nativity,  Ohio ;  enlisted, 
August  22,  1862,  as  second  sergeant;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  promoted  first 
lieutenant  of  Company  A,  March  i,  1864. 

Foster,  Jeremiah,  age  thirty ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Kentucky ; 
enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  August 
24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Frahm,  Joachim,  age  twenty-four ;  residence,  Dayton ;  nativity,  Germany ; 
enlisted,  August  15,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  August 
24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Franks,  Henry  H.,  age  twenty-three;  residence,  Crawford  county,  nativity, 
Illinois;  enlisted,  December  25,  1863;  mustered,  December  25,  1863;  discharged 
for  disability,  September  13,   1864,  Jefiferson  Barracks   (St.  Louis),  Alissouri. 

Fuller,  Clark,  age  thirty;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Ohio;  enlisted, 
August  12,  1862;  mustered,  October  31,  1862;  promoted  commissary  sergeant, 
March  14,  1864;  reduced  to  ranks  at  his  own  request,  January  15,  1865;  mus- 
tered out,  August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  101 

Gardner,    Charles   W.,   age    nineteen;    residence,    Webster   county;    nativity,. 
Ohio;  enhsted,  January   lO,   1865;  mustered,  January   10,   1865;  transferred  to 
Company  A,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Gardner,  Peyton  R.,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Eort  Dodge;  nativity,  New 
Hampshire;  enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered 
out,  August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Gardner,  Wallace  P.,  age  nineteen;  residence,  Dayton;  nativity,  Illinois;  en- 
listed. August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  died  of  disease,  June  5, 
1863.  Fort  Pillow,  Tennessee;  buried  in  Mississippi  River  National  Cemetery, 
Memphis,  Tennessee,  section  i,  grave  63. 

Gatchel,  Uriah  D.,  age  twenty-two ;  residence,  Border  Plains ;  nativity,  Ohio ; 
enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered  October  7,  1862;  died  of  disease,  December 
18,  1864,  Keokuk,  Iowa;  buried  in  Oakland  Cemetery,  Keokuk,  Iowa. 

Gilday.  Francis  M.,  age  eighteen;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity.  New 
York:  enlisted,  January  11,  1865;  mustered,  January  11,  1865;  transferred  to 
Company  A,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Goodrich,  Benjamin  B.,  age  twenty-five;  residence,  Border  Plains;  nativity, 
Ohio;  enlisted.  August  13,  1862,  as  fourth  sergeant;  mustered,  October  7,  1862; 
promoted  third  sergeant,  May  30,  1864;  first  sergeant,  July  4,  1864;  mustered 
out,  August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Goodrich,  Ezekiel  L.,  age  twenty-three ;  residence,  Webster  county ;  nativity, 
Ohio;  enlisted,  August  15,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Gwinn,  Rol^ert  M.;  residence,  Boonesborough ;  nativity,  Pennsylvania;  en- 
listed, August  II,  1862,  as  fifer;  mustered, -October  7,  1862;  reduced  to  ranks 
at  his  own  request,  March  20,  1863  ;  mustered  out,  August  24.  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Haines,  George  W. ;  enlisted,  June  30,  1863,  as  under  cook;  mustered,  June 
30,  1863;  transferred  to  Second  Tennessee  Heavy  Artillery. 

Hanchett,  George  W.,  age  thirty-eight;  residence,  Humboldt  county; 
nativity.  New  York;  enlisted,  August  22,  1862,  as  sixth  corporal;  mustered, 
October  7,  1862;  promoted  fifth  corporal.  October  6,  1862;  fourth  corporal, 
December  23,  1863;  third  corporal.  May  30,  1864;  first  corporal,  July  4,  1864; 
mustered  out,  August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Hancock,  Walter  R.  W.,  age  twenty-five;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity, 
Kentucky;  enlisted,  August  20,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  24.  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Hart,  George  D.,  age  twenty-seven;  residence,  Otho;  nativity,  Illinois; 
enlisted,  August  16,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  transferred  to  Veteran 
Reserve  Corps,  March  18,  1865;  discharged  for  disability,  July  i,  1865,  Jeffer- 
son Barracks  (St.  Louis),  Missouri. 

Hart,  Sherman,  age  thirty-three;  residence,  Border  Plains;  nativity,  Con- 
necticut; enlisted,  August  14,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  died  of  dis- 
ease, September  19,  1863,  Island  No.  10,  Tennessee;  buried  in  Mississippi  River 
National  Cemetery,  Memphis,  Tennessee. 

Haskins,  Alfred  T.,  age  thirty-two;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity, 
New  York;  enlisted,  January  18,  1865;  mustered,  January  18,  1865;  trans- 
ferred to  Company  B,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Hefley,    John    M.,    age    thirty-seven;    residence,    Webster    county;    nativity, 


102  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Pennsylvania;  enlisted,  January   lo,   1865;  mustered,  January   10,   1865;   trans- 
ferred to  Company  B,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865.     (John  M.  Heffley.) 

Hightree,  John,  age  thirty ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Holland ; 
enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  died,  disease.  Fort  Dodge, 
Iowa,  September  10,  1863. 

Howell,  Daniel  T.,  age  thirty-two;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Indiana; 
enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  August 
24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Hulsizer,  Benjamin,  age  twenty-four;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity.  New 
Jersey;  enlisted,  August  20,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  24,  1865.  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Hulsizer,  Hiram,  age  thirty-six;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity.  New  Jer- 
sey; enlisted,  August  20,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  promoted  eighth 
corporal,  October  6,  1862;  reduced  to  ranks  at  his  own  request,  February  4, 
1863;  wounded  severely,  April  9,  1864,  Pleasant  Flill,  Louisiana;  discharged  for 
disability,  June  2,  1865,  Keokuk,  Iowa. 

Hurlburt,  Elmore,  age  sixteen;  enlisted,  December  19,  1864;  mustered, 
December  19,  1864;  transferred  to  Company  B,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 
Company  A,  Forty-eighth  Infantry.  ^ 

Hutchison,  John;  rejected,  August  22,   1862,  by  mustering  officer. 

Hutchison,  Jonathan,  age  forty-two;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Ohio; 
appointed  captain,  August  20,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  promoted 
major,  April  10,  1864;  lieutenant  colonel,  August  23,  1865,  not  mustered;  brevet 
lieutenant  colonel  of  United  States  Volunteers,  1865 ;  mustered  out,  August 
24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Hutchison,  Matthias,  age  eighteen ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Ohio ; 
enlisted,  August  20,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  killed  in  action,  April 
9,  1864,  Pleasant  Hill,  Louisiana. 

Huxford,  Morton  V.,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Boonesborough ;  na.tivity, 
Indiana;  enlisted,  August  11,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Jenkins,  Andrew  K.,  age  twenty-five;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Penn- 
sylvania; enlisted,  June  2,  1864;  mustered,  June  2,  1864;  transferred  to  Com- 
pany B,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,   1865.      (xA.ndrew  R.  Jenkins.) 

Jenkins,  James  S.,  age  twenty-one;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Penn- 
sylvania; enlisted,  January  2,  1864;  mustered,  January  2,  1864;  transferred  to 
Company  B,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Jenkins,  John  S.,  age  twenty-seven ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Penn- 
sylvania; enlisted,  January  2,  1864;  mustered,  January  2,  1864;  transferred  to 
Company  B,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Jones,  George  W.,  age  thirty-two;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity.  New 
York;  enlisted,  January  2,  1864;  mustered,  January  2,  1864;  transferred  to  Com- 
pany B,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Karcher,  Philip,  age  thirty ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Pennsylvania ; 
enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out.  August 
24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Keates,  John,  age  thirty-nine;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity.  England; 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  103 

enlisted,  January   lo,   1865;  mustered,  January   10,   1865;  transferred  to  Com- 
pany B,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Kellogg,  Elias  D.,  age  twenty-four;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity.  New 
York;  enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  promoted  eighth 
corporal,  February  4,  1863;  seventh  corporal,  December  23,  1863;  sixth  cor- 
poral. May  30,  1864;  fourth  corporal,  December  4,  1864;  wounded;  mustered  out, 
May  10,  1865.     Company  F,  Second  Cavalry. 

Kinning,  Henry  J.,  age  twenty-nine ;  residence,  .Monona  county ;  nativity, 
Ohio;  enlisted,  January  2,  1864;  mustered,  January  2,  1864;  died,  September 
13,  1864,  Jefiferson  Barracks,  -Missouri;  buried  in  National  Cemetery,  Jefferson 
Barracks  (St.  Louis),  Missouri,  section  31,  grave  142. 

Kramer,  Augustus,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Dayton;  nativity,  Germany; 
enlisted,  August  15,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  August 
24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Lynn,  James,  age  thirty-seven;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Pennsyl- 
vania ;  enlisted,  August  22,  1862,  as  fourth  corporal ;  mustered,  October  7, 
1862;  promoted  third  corporal,  October  6,  1862;  second  corporal,  December  23, 
1863;  first  corporal,  ]\Iay  30,  1864;  fifth  sergeant,  July  4,  1864;  second  lieuten- 
ant, October  14,  1864;  mustered  out,  August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Lyons,  I^atrick,  age  twenty-eight;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Ireland; 
enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  August 
24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

jMcCauley,  Robert,  age  thirty-two;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity.  New 
York;  enlisted,  August  20,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

INIcCauley,  William,  age  twenty-five;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Can- 
ada; enlisted,  August  15,  1862,  as  wagoner;  mustered,  August  7,  1862;  mustered 
out,  August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

McHenry,  Isaac,  age  twenty-three ;  residence,  Dakotah ;  nativity,  Ohio ; 
enlisted,  August  16,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  August  24, 
1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

McHenry,  John  N.,  age  twenty-five;  residence,  Dakotah;  nativity,  Ohio; 
enlisted,  August  16,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  August 
24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

McKitrick,  John,  age  thirty-five;  residence,  Humboldt  county;  nativity, 
Scotland;  enlisted,  January  4,  1864;  mustered,  January  4,  1864;  discharged  for 
disability,  June  21,  1865,  Montgomery,  Alabama. 

McLean,  Alexander,  age  forty-three;  residence,  Humboldt  county;  nativity, 
Scotland;  enlisted,  January  4,  1864;  mustered,  January  4,  1864;  transferred 
to  Company  B,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Maher,  j\Iichael,  age  twenty-four;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Ire- 
land; enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  promoted  sixth 
corporal,  July  4,  1864;  mustered  out,  August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Maloy,  David,  age  twenty-five ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Ireland ; 
enlisted,  August  21,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  August  24, 
1865,  Clinton.  Iowa. 

']\Iarsh,  John,  age  eighteen;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity,  England; 
enlisted.  February  29,  1864;  mustered,  February  29,  1864;  transferred  to  Com- 
pany B,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 


104  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Manpin,  John  C,  age  twenty-eight ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Illinois ; 
enlisted,  January  2,  1864;  mustered,  January  2,  1864;  transferred  to  Company 
B,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Mayberry,  John  R.,  age  eighteen;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity,  Illi- 
nois; enlisted,  January  5,  1864;  mustered,  January  5,  1864;  wounded  and 
taken  prisoner,  April  9,  1864,  Pleasant  Hill,  Louisiana;  discharged  for  wounds,. 
December  16,  1864. 

Mayberry,  William  F.,  age  eighteen;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity, 
Illinois;  enlisted,  August  15,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  promoted 
eighth  corporal,  December  5,  1864;  mustered  out,  August  24,  1865,  Clinton,. 
Iowa. 

]\Ieans,  John,  age  thirty-four;  residence,  Dakotah;  nativity,  Pennsylvania; 
enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  3,  1862;  mustered  out,  August  24, 
1865,  Clinton,  Iowa.     • 

Metcalf,  Isaac,  age  thirty-nine;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity,  Indi- 
ana; enlisted,  August  13,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  died  of  disease^ 
March  28,  1863,  Fort  Pillow,  Tennessee ;  buried  in  Mississippi  River  National 
Cemetery,  Memphis,  Tennessee,  section  i,  grave  56. 

Moore,  Alfred,  age  forty-five ;  residence.  Fort  Pillow,  Tennessee ;  enlisted. 
May  I,  1863,  as  under  cook;  mustered,  June  30,  1863;  mustered  out,  August 
24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Moore,  Edmond  V.,  age  twenty-three ;  residence,  Otho ;  nativity,  Ohio ; 
enlisted,  August  13,  1862,  as  third  corporal;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  pro- 
moted second  corporal,  October  6,  1862;  first  corporal,  December  23,  1863; 
fifth  sergeant,  May  30,  1864;  fourth  sergeant,  July  4,  1864;  mustered  out, 
August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Morse,  Bartlett  M.,  age  twenty-three ;  residence,  Webster  county ;  nativity, 
Pennsylvania;  enlisted,  January  10,  1865;  mustered,  January  10,  1865;  mus- 
tered out,  June  8,  1865,  Baton  Rouge,  Louisiana. 

Mueller,  Christian,  age  eighteen ;  residence,  Webster  county ;  nativity,  Ger- 
many;  enlisted,  January  10,  1865;  mustered,  January  10,  1865;  transferred  to 
Company  B,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865.     (Christian  Muller.) 

Munroe,  Henry  H.,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Otho;  nativity,  Michigan; 
enlisted,  August  15,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  August  24, 
1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Nagle,  William  H.,  age  twenty;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Ohio; 
enlisted,  August  20,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  August  24; 
1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

O'Hara,  Patrick,  age  twenty-six ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Ireland ; 
enlisted,  August  21,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  August  24, 
1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

O'Neil,  Michael,  age  forty-two ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Ireland ; 
enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  transferred  to  Veteran 
Reserve  Corps,  July  24,  1864;  died  of  disease,  March  17,  1865,  Camp  Douglass, 
Chicago,  Illinois. 

Pollock,  William,  age  thirty-five;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Scotland; 
enlisted,  August  20,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  August 
24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 


t3C)  W 
s    O 


CO 

K 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  105 

Powers,  William  D.,  age  thirty-five;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Ire- 
land; enlisted,  August  22,  1862,  as  seventh  corporal;  mustered,  October  7, 
1862;  promoted  sixth  corporal,  October  6,  1862;  fifth  corporal,  December  23, 
1863;  fourth  corporal,  May  30,  1864;  second  corporal,  July  4,  1864;  fifth 
sergeant,  December  5,  1864;  mustered  out,  August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Prescott,  William  T.,  age  eighteen;  residence,  Dickinson  county;  nativity, 
Ohio;  enlisted,  August  20,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  promoted  seventh 
corporal,  December  5,  1864;  mustered  out,  August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Reilley,  William,  age  thirty;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Scotland; 
enlisted,  August  21,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  transferred  to  Twelfth 
United  States  Infantry,  November  15,  1862. 

Roberts,  Jonathan  D.,  age  thirty-four ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity, 
Massachusetts;  enlisted,  August  20,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered 
out,  August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Roberts,  Orison;  rejected,  August  22,  1862,  by  mustering  officer. 

Rood,  Isaac  P.,  age  thirty-six;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity.  New  York; 
enlisted,  January  4,  1864;  mustered,  January  4,  1864;  transferred  to  Company 
B,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  28,  1865. 

Rood,  James,  age  twenty-five ;  residence,  Otho ;  nativity.  New  York ;  enlisted, 
August  15,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  killed  in  action,  March  14,  1864, 
Fort  De  Russy,  Louisiana.  Buried,  National  Cemetery,  Alexander,  Louisiana, 
section  i,  grave  49. 

Rosil,  Moses,  age  thirty-three;  residence,  Columbus,  Kentucky;  enlisted, 
'September  2,  1863,  ^s  under  cook;  mustered,  September  2,  1863;  mustered  out, 
August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Rowley,  James  A.,  age  twenty-six;  residence,  Dakotah;  nativity,  New  York; 
enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  promoted  eighth  cor- 
poral, December  23,  1863;  seventh  corporal,  March  30,  1864;  wounded  fatally 
and  taken  prisoner,  April  9,  1864,  Pleasant  Hill,  Louisiana;  died  of  wounds,  April 
20,  1864,  Pleasant  Hill,  Louisiana. 

Rowley,  Mathew,  age  eighteen ;  residence,  W^aterloo ;  nativity,  Pennsylvania ; 
enlisted,  January  11,  1865;  died  of  disease,  July  19,  1865,  Montgomery,  Ala- 
bama; buried   in  National  Cemetery,  Marietta,   Georgia,  section  L,  grave   573. 

Ruscoe,  George,  age  thirty-nine ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity.  New  York ; 
enlisted,  January  2,  1864;  mustered,  January  2,  1864;  transferred  to  Company 
B,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Russell,  Francis  \\'.,  age  twenty-four;  residence,  Dakotah;  nativity,  Wiscon- 
sin; enlisted,  August  20,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862.;  discharged  for  dis- 
ability, March  29,  1863,  Fort  Pillow,  Tennessee.    See  Company  D,  Ninth  Cavalry. 

Russell,  James,  age  twenty-one ;  residence,  Webster  county ;  nativity,  Iowa ; 
enlisted,  January  14,  1865;  mustered,  January  14,  1865;  transferred  to  Com- 
pany B,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Russell,  John  W.,  age  twenty-eight ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Ire- 
land; enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Salisbury,  William  J.,  age  nineteen;  residence,  Emmet  county;  nativity, 
Michigan;  enlisted,  January  4,  1863;  mustered,  January  4,  1863;  taken  prisoner, 
April  9,  1864,  Pleasant  Hill,  Louisiana;  transferred  to  Company  B,  Eighth 
Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 


106  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Scherff,  Peter,  age  twenty-nine;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity,  Ger- 
many; enlisted,  January  lO,  1865;  mustered,  January  10,  1865;  transferred  to 
Company  B,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Snodgrass,  Andrew  W.,  age  twenty-three;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity, 
Indiana;  enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  promoted,  sev- 
enth corporal,  July  4,  1864;  fourth  corporal,  December  5,  1864;  mustered  out, 
August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Thomas,  James  H.,  age  forty;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  New  York; 
enlisted,  August  19,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  June  2, 
1865,  St.  Louis,  Missouri. 

Timmons,  Anderson,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Columbus,  Kentucky; 
nativity,  Tennessee;  enlisted,  November  4,  1863;  mustered,  November  4,  1863; 
deserted,  December  i,  1864,  Nashville,  Tennessee. 

Timmons,  William  T.,  age  twenty-two ;  residence,  Columbus,  Kentucky ; 
nativity,  Tennessee;  enlisted,  November  4,  1863;  mustered,  November  4,  1863; 
deserted,  February  11,  1865,  Paducah,  Kentucky. 

Tod,  George  A.,  age  sixteen;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Pennsylvania; 
enlisted,  August  22,  1862,  as  drummer;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  taken  pris- 
oner, February,  4,  1864,  Big  Black  River,  Mississippi;  mustered  out,  July  10, 
1865,  Montgomery,  Alabama. 

Trusty,  Joseph  S.  M.,  age  twenty-four;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Illi- 
nois; enlisted,  January  2,  1864;  mustered,  January  2,  1864;  transferred  to 
Company  B,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Vancleave,  John  S.,  age  twenty-one;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Indi- 
ana; enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  died  of  disease, 
Alarch  28,  1863,  Fort  Pillow,  Tennessee;  buried  in  Mississippi  River  National 
Cemetery,  Memphis,  Tennessee,  section  i,  grave  78. 

Vancleave,  Silas,  age  twenty-seven ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Indiana ; 
enlisted,  August  13,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  August  24, 
1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Vandevender,  John,  age  twenty-eight;  residence,  W^ebster  county;  nativity, 
Ohio;  enlisted,  August  13,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  taken  prisoner, 
April  9,  1864,  Pleasant  Hill,  Louisiana;  mustered  out,  July  15,  1865,  ]\Iont- 
gomery,  Alabama. 

A'incent,  Beth,  age  eighteen ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Pennsylvania ; 
enlisted,  August  20,  1862;  mustered,  October  29,  1862;  mustered  out,  August 
24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Welchle,  Jacob,  age  forty-four;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Germany; 
enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out,  August  24, 
1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

W^illiams,  George  P.,  age  twenty-two;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity, 
Indiana;  enlisted,  August  12,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Williams,  James  B.,  age  twenty-five;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Penn- 
sylvania; enlisted,  August  22,  1862,  as  third  sergeant;  mustered,  October  7, 
1862;  promoted,  second  sergeant.  May  30,  1864;  mustered  out,  August  24,  1865, 
Clinton,  Iowa. 

Williams,  Thomas  J.,  age  twenty;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Indiana; 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  107 

enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  discharged  for  disability, 
]\Iarch  13,  1864,  Mound  City,  Illinois. 

Wilson,  Joel  B.,  age  twenty-five;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity.  New 
York;  enlisted,  August  15,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  promoted,  eighth 
corporal.  May  30,  1864;  fifth  corporal,  July  4,  1864;  third  corporal,  December 
5,  1864;  mustered  out,  August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Young,  Ezra  C,  age  twenty-four;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity.  New 
Jersey;  enlisted,  January  11,  1865;  mustered,  January  11,  1865;  transferred  to 
Company  A,  Eighth  Infantry,  July  29,  1865. 

Young,  Lemuel  L.,  age  nineteen ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  New 
Jersey;  enlisted,  August  22,  1862;  mustered,  October  7,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  24,  1865,  Clinton,  Iowa. 

Young,  Levi  G.  C,  age  twenty-four;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity.  New 
Jersey;  enlisted,  August  22,  1862  as  fifth  corporal;  mustered,  October  7,  1862; 
promoted,  fourth  corporal,  October  6,  1862 ;  third  corporal,  December  23,  1863 ; 
second  corporal,  ]\Iay  30,  1864;  died  of  disease, -June  29,  1864,  Fort  Dodge, 
Iowa. 

COMPAXY    A,    ELEVENTH    PENNSYLVANIA    CAVALRY 

Webster  county  furnished  a  company  of  cavalry  for  service  in  the  Union 
armies.  This  company  was  originally  raised  for  Colonel  Josiah  Harlan's  "Inde- 
pendent Cavalry,"  but  afterward  was  sent  east  and  became  Company  "A"  of 
the  Eleventh  Pennsylvania  Cavalry.  While  the  company  was  considered  an 
Iowa  company,  and  was  credited  as  such  by  the  War  Department  on  Iowa's 
quota,  yet  but  little  reference  is  made  to  it  in  the  records  of  the  adjutant  general 
of  Iowa.  The  commissions  of  the  officers  were,  however,  issued  to  the  officers 
by  the  authorities  of  Iowa,  at  the  request  of  the  general  commanding  the  divi- 
sion- in  which  the  company  was  at  the  time  of  the  organization  of  the  regi- 
ment. At  the  completion  of  its  organization  the  company  numbered  eighty- 
three  men,  rank  and  file.  Soon  after  the  organization  of  the  cavalry  company, 
the  patriotic  ladies  of  Fort  Dodge  decided  to  present  the  volunteers  with  a 
flag.  They  accordingly  collected  over  $40  by  subscription,  and  soon  sent  the 
money  to  Dubuque  where  the  proper  material  of  which  to  make  the  flag  was 
purchased. 

The  presentation  took  place  September  13,  1861.  The  flag  was  about  six 
and  one-half  feet  in  length  and  about  five  and  one-half  feet  in  width  and  was 
made  of  silk.  The  ceremony  of  presentation  took  place  about  four  o'clock  in 
the  afternoon,  and  was  held  at  the  courthouse,  in  the  presence  of  a  large 
gathering  of  people  from  the  town  and  county.  The  flag  was  presented  by 
Miss  Cruikshank,  who  on  behalf  of  the  ladies,  spoke  briefly,  as  follows: 

'Y^olunteers  of  the  Iowa  Light  Cavalry.  In  behalf  of  the  ladies  of  Fort 
Dodge,  I  present  you  this  banner,  the  much  loved  emblem  of  our  country's 
glory,  for  the  maintenance  of  whose  integrity  and  honor  you  have  offered  your 
lives.  W^e  grieve  to  part  with  you,  yet  are  proud  and  happy  that  you  have 
thus  nobly  responded  to  the  call  of  duty.  Our  prayer  is,  that  peace  and  har- 
mony may  soon  be  restored  to  our  loved  country,  and  that  you  may  return  to 
us  in  safety.  But  should  it  be  the  fate  of  any  of' you  to  fill  a  soldier's  grave, 
far  from  home  and  friends,  your  memories  will  be  sacredly  and  affectionately 

Vol.  I--S 


108  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

cherished  by  those  in  whose  behalf  I  address  you.     Xowhere  can  dnst  to  dust 
be  consigned  so  well  as  where, 

"Heaven  its  dews  shall  shed 
On  the  martyred  patriot's  bed. 

"Take  your  banner,  may  it  wave 
Proudly  o'er  the  good  and  brave. 
When  the  spear  in  conflict  shakes, 
And  the  strong  lance  quivering  breaks, 
Guard  it !     God  will  prosper  you. 

"In  the  dark  and  trying  hour. 

In  the  breaking  forth  of  power. 

In  the  rush  of  steeds  and  men, 

May  His  right  arm  protect  you  then." 

The  presentation  speech  was  replied  to  on  behalf  of  the  company  by  J.  H, 
Holloway.  Woolsey  Welles,  on  behalf  of  the  Webster  County  Bible  Society, 
then  presented  each  of  the  officers  with  a  Bible  and  each  of  the  privates  with 
a  copy  of  the  New  Testament.  George  S.  Ringland  was  then  called  upon  and 
made  a  brief  address.  In  the  course  of  his  address  he  referred  to  the  hostility, 
which  had  been  shown  towards  the  company  by  certain  parties  in  the  city  and 
county,  and  denounced  the  authors  of  this  opposition  as  traitors.  His  remarks 
were  greeted  with  applause. 

In  the  absence  of  official  data  concerning  the  history  of  this  company,  it  has 
been  necessary  to  consult  other  sources,  and  the  editor  has  availed  himself  of 
an  article  published  a  number  of  years  ago  in  the  "Annals  of  Iowa,"  and  written 
by  Mr.  George  L.  Cruikshank,  the  first  sergeant  of  the  company.  Omitting 
some  of  the  less  important  details,  the  history  is  herewith  quoted  as  follows : 

"Company  A,  Eleventh  Pennsylvania  Cavalry,  was  organized  at  Fort  Dodge, 
Iowa,  in  August,  1861.  When  the  news  of  the  battle  of  Bull  Run  was  received, 
a  number  of  young  men,  who  had  been  drilling  during  the  spring  and  summer, . 
resolved  to  organize  a  company  for  the  service,  and  messengers  were  sent  up 
the  Des  Moines  river  as  far  as  Spirit  lake.  September  2,  1861,  the  companv 
met  at  the  courthouse  in  Fort  Dodge,  and,  before  electing  its  officers,  was  sworn 
into  the  service  of  the  United  States,  by  James  R.  Strow,  justice  of  the  peace. 
Franklin  A.  Stratton  was  elected  captain ;  G.  S.  Ringland,  first  lieutenant,  and 
George  W.  Bassett,  second  lieutenant.  The  company  went  by  stage  to  Cedar 
Falls,  and  thence  by  railroad  to  Dubuque,  where,  on  September  21,  1861,  it 
was  mustered  into  the  service  of  the  United  States  by  Captain  Washington. 
It  left  Dubuque  October  6th,  and  reached  Washington,  D.  C,  October  10,  1861. 
One  of  its  members,  Peter  Bowers,  was  killed  in  a  railroad  accident  near  Lewis- 
ton,  Pennsylvania,  and  was  buried  there. 

"At  Washington,  D.  C,  the  company  joined  the  regiment  then  known  as 
Harlan's  Independent  Regiment  of  Light  Cavalry.  Colonel  Josiah  Harlan  was 
a  relative  of  Senator  James  Harlan  of  Iowa,  and  it  was  through  his  influence 
that  Company  A  joined  that  regiment.     Later,  the  secretary  of  war,  finding  he 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  109 

had  no  authority  to  accept  independent  regiments,  the  name  was  changed  to 
the  Eleventh  Pennsylvania  Cavalry,  that  state  having  the  largest  number  of 
troops  in  the  regiment.  On  the  i6th  of  October  it  left  its  camp  on  Seventh 
street,  and  crossed  the  Potomac  to  Ball's  Cross  Roads,  Virginia.  In  November 
it  marched  to  Annapolis,  Maryland,  and  thence  proceeded  to  Fortress  ]\Ionroe, 
Virginia,  by  steamer.  Here  stables  were  built  for  the  horses,  and  the  regiment 
was  thoroughly  drilled.     *     *     * 

"On  March  8,  1862,  when  the  Vlerrimac  sank  the  Cumberland,  and  the  Con- 
gress was  burned,  the  regiment  was  on  picket  duty  on  Newmarket  Creek,  and, 
on  the  morning  of  the  9th,  saw  the  beginning  of  the  fight  between  the  ^Monitor 
and  the  IMerrimac.  The  company  was  under  fire  for  the  first  time  on  the  old 
battle-ground  of  Great  Bethel,  in  March,  1862.  On  May  7th,  the  regiment  was 
reviewed  by  President  Lincoln.  On  May  15th,  Companies  A,  E,  G,  H,  and  L 
were  sent  to  Norfolk,  Virginia,  and  soon  after  to  Sufifolk.  Company  A  was 
detached  from  the  battalion  and  placed  under  the  immediate  orders  of  General 
Mansfield.  Captain  Stratton  was  a  civil  engineer  and,  under  the  direction  of 
the  general,  made  maps  of  all  the  routes  between  Sufifolk  and  the  Black 
Water.  *  *  *  jj^  August,  the  part  of  the  regiment  that  had  been  on  the 
Peninsula  with  ^McClellan  came  to  Sufifolk.  On  December  2,  1862,  the  com- 
pany was  in  the  mounted  charge  at  Beaver  Dam  Church,  in  Virginia,  where  the 
enemy  was  routed  and  a  number  of  prisoners  were  taken.  On  January  30,  1863, 
Company  A  led  the  advance  in  the  attack  on  the  Deserted  House,  in  which  Gen- 
eral Prior  was  defeated.  During  the  year  at  Sufifolk  the  command  was  con- 
stantly employed  on  scouting  and  out-post  duty.  In  June,  1863,  the  regiment, 
with  other  troops,  was  sent  by  steamer  to  the  White  House,  on  the  Pamun- 
key  river,  and  from  there  to  Hanover  Court  House,  where  a  wagon  train  was 
captured.  At  South  Anna  Bridge  a  mounted  charge  was  made,  by  Companies 
A  and  G,  upon  an  earthwork,  and  the  work  captured.  The  object  of  the  raid 
was  to  break  up  the  railroad  communications  north  to  Richmond.  On  the  expe- 
dition the  rebel,  General  Fitzhugh  Lee,  was  captured. 

"In  July,  a  second  expedition,  under  General  Getty,  was  made  against  the 
Richmond  and  Manassas  Railroad.  The  command  returned  to  Norfolk  and, 
on  the  9th  of  August,  a  raid  on  the  Petersburg  and  W^eldon  Railroad  was  made. 
It  was  hard  service,  and  but  little  was  accomplished.  In  October,  an  expedi- 
tion went  to  [Matthew's  Court  House,  to  break  up  the  contraband  trade.  Soon 
after.  Company  A  was  detached  from  the  regiment  and  was  placed  on  provost 
guard  duty  at  Norfolk,  Mrginia.  In  the  following  February,  the  company 
returned  to  the  regiment,  and  was  sent  to  Williamsburg  and  participated  in 
General  Wistar's  famous  expedition  against  Richmond.  The  expedition  got 
no  further  than  Bottom  Bridge,  on  the  Chickahominy.  On  the  return  of  the 
regiment  to  Williamsburg,  Company  A  was  detached  and  stationed  at 
Glouscester  Point,  opposite  Yorktown. 

"During  the  winter,  General  Lee's  army  was  encamped  on  the  Rapidan  river, 
and  many  of  his  men,  especially  cavalry,  were  furloughed  for  the  purpose  of 
recruiting  their  ranks.  At  dififerent  times  during  the  winter  twenty-five  of  the 
Glouscester  company  were  captured.  In  ]\Iarch,  1864,  General  Kilpatrick  made 
a  raid  on  Richmond.  A  part  of  his  command,  under  Colonel  Dalghren,  became 
separated  and,  while  attempting  to  make  their  way  to  our  forces  at  Gloucester 


110  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Point,  were  ambushed  in  the  night.  Colonel  Dalghren  was  Jcilled,  and  the 
command  scattered.  A  sergeant  and  five  men  made  their  way  to  our  camp. 
A  force  sent  out  under  ]\Iajor  Wetherill  found  none  of  Dalghren's  command 
but  captured  one  man  of  the  Fifth  A'irginia  Cavalry,  and  one  from  the  Ninth 
Virginia  Infantry.     *     *     * 

"April  9,  1864,  we  crossed  the  York  river  and  marched  to  Newport  News, 
on  the  James  river,  took  transports  to  Portsmouth,  and  were  soon  at  Camp 
Getty,  where  the  cavalry  division,  under  General  August  V.  Kautz,  w'as  organ- 
ized. It  consisted  of  the  Third  New  York,  Fifth  Pennsylvania,  Eleventh 
Pennsylvania  and  the  First  District  of  Columbia  regiments.  The  last  were 
armed  with  the  Henry  repeating  rifle,  and  two  guns  of  the  Eighth  New  York 
Battery  were  attached  to  the  division.  On  Alay  5th,  a  beautiful  spring  morn- 
ing, the  division  moved  out  of  Camp  Getty  for  the  last  time.  Everything  in 
the  way  of  baggage  or  incumbrance  was  left  behind.  *  =i^  *  The  march 
was  toward  Petersburg,  crossing  the  Black  Water  River  near  \\'akefield  Station, 
on  the  Petersburg  and  Norfolk  Railroad.  The  advance  struck  the  Weldon 
Railroad  at  Stony  Creek  Station,  and  captured  the  guard.  The  next  day  Jar- 
ratt's  Station,  with  a  guard  of  seventy  men,  was  captured.  The  railroad  bridge 
across  the  Notoway  was  burned,  and  Companies  A  and  D  were  sent  to  destroy 
a  w^agon  bridge  to  the  left.  From  there  the  march  was  continued  to  City  Point, 
which  was  in  possession  of  General  Butler  and  his  colored  troops.  On  May 
nth,  w^e  crossed  the  Appomattox  at  Bermuda  Hundred.  Raids,  in  which  bridges 
were  burned,  railroads  torn  up,  and  much  valuable  property  destroyed,  were  in 
constant  progress,  the  division  sometimes  marching  three  hundred  miles  in 
six  days.  So  constantly  were  we  kept  on  the  move  that  on  the  night  of  June  ist 
when  we  reached  the  lines  in  front  of  Petersburg,  the  men  took  off  their  clothes 
to  rest  for  the  first  time  since  leaving  Camp  Getty  on  ]\Iay  5th.  The  company 
had  taken  part  in  destroying  a  large  amount  of  railroad  track  on  the  Danville, 
the  South    Side,    and   the   Weldon   Railroads.     *     *     *  ^ 

"At  Pittsburg  the  regiment  was  dismounted  and  manned  the  breastworks, 
performing  infantry  duty.  On  the  9th  of  June,  an  attack  was  made  on  the 
Jerusalem  plank  roads.  After  some  artillery  fire,  a  charge  was  made  and  the 
lines  carried.  If  General  Gilmore  had  made  any  attempt  to  carry  out  his  part, 
by  an  attack  on  the  east  line  of  the  rebel  works,  Petersburg  would  have  been 
captured.  On  the  15th  of  June,  another  attack  was  made  on  the  lines  of  the 
Norfolk  and  Petersburg  Railroad.  The  regiment  was  under  severe  fire  for 
some  time,  but  failed  to  carry  the  works.  On  the  21st  of  June  General  Kautz's 
Division  again  left  camp  along  the  breastworks  and  crossed  the  Appomattox  to 
Zion's  Church,  where  it  joined  the  Third  Division  of  General  Sheridan's  cavalry, 
under  General  J.  H.  Wilson,  in  a  raid,  the  'object  of  which  was  the  destruction 
of  the  Danville  Railroad.  *  *  *  This  was  accomplished.  For  thirty  miles 
not  a  vestige  of  railroad  remained.  The  extreme  heat  of  the  fire,  added  to  that 
of  the  sun,  prostrated  a  number  of  the  men.  After  a  march,  in  which  the  men 
and  horses  suflfered  severely,  the  command  reached  the  Petersburg  and  Weldon 
-Railroad  at  Stony  Creek  Station.  Here  it  met  a  strong  rebel  force.  After 
sharp  skirmishing,  it  marched  north  to  Reams'  Station,  where  the  rebel  infan- 
try with  bayonets,  and  our  cavalry  with  sabers,  came  to  a  hand  to  hand  con- 
test.    By  outflanking  the  rebels.  General  Kautz's  Division  reached  our  lines  at 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  111 

Petersburg  that  night.  The  column  was  led  by  the  Eleventh  Pennsylvania  Cav- 
alry, with  Colonel  Stratton  in  command,  Company  A  taking  the  advance  of  the 
regiment. 

"General  Wilson  retreated  south,  and  was  four  days  in  reaching  our  lines. 
After  this  the  Eleventh  Cavalry  was  on  picket  duty  in  Prince  George  county. 
It  was  with  General  Hancock  in  the  attack  on  the  Weldon  Railroad,  August 
22,  1864,  where  Company  A  had  one  man  killed  and  one  wounded.  The  picket 
dutv  in  Prince  George  county  was  hard  service.  On  the  20th  of  September, 
1864,  the  members  of  the  original  Company  A — except  those  who  had  re- 
enlisted — were  mustered  out  of  the  service  of  the  United  States,  at  General 
Butler's   headquarters,   on   the   Appomattox. 

"On  reorganizing  the  company,  the  officers  were  chosen  from  the  veterans 
who  had  reenlisted,  as  follows:  Captain,  E.  P.  Ring;  first  lieutenant,  William 
A.  Barber;  second  lieutenant,  Oscar  S.  ]\Iatthews.  In  October,  1864,  they  were 
with  the  cavalry  in  the  actions  north  of  the  James  river,  where  Lieutenant 
Barber  was  wounded  and  taken  prisoner.  He  died  in  Richmond.  The  com- 
pany was  with  General  Sheridan  at  Five  Forks.  In  the  cavalry  charge  on  the 
enemy's  line,  Lieutenant  Alatthews  was  killed.  On  the  memorable  9th  of  April, 
the  Eleventh  Pennsylvania  Cavalry  was  in  the  front  line.  Iowa  was  there  rep- 
resented by  the  officers  in  command  of  the  few  remaining  of  grand  old  Company 
A.  The  regiment  was  mustered  out  of  the  service  of  the  United  States  at  Camp 
Cadwalader,  Philadelphia,  August  13,  1865.  At  that  time  there  were  but  three 
of  the  original  Iowa  company  left.  Lieutenant  Lucius  L.  Carrier,  James  Lindsay 
and  Oscar  S.  Slosson." 

It  will  thus  be  seen  that  this  splendid  Iowa  company,  while  assigned  to  and 
serving  with  a  regiment  from  another  state,  nobly  maintained  the  honorable 
record  which  was  made  by  Iowa  soldiers  everywhere,  throughout  the  great 
War  of  the  Rebellion.  Its  first  captain,  Franklin  A.  Stratton,  became  major, 
lieutenant  colonel,  and  colonel  of  the  regiment,  and  brevet  brigadier  general  of 
volunteers,  at  the  close  of  the  war.  •  He  was  twice  wounded.  Alany  of  the  mem- 
bers of  the  company  have  since  achieved  success  in  various  avocations,  both  as 
private  citizens  and  in  official  positions. 

In  the  autumn  of  1864,  Governor  Stone  appointed  Hon.  Charles  Aldrich  as 
the  Iowa  commissioner  to  take  the  vote  of  the  Iowa  soldiers  serving  in  the 
eastern  army  at  the  time  President  Lincoln  was  reelected.  Among  the  troops 
visited  by  Air.  Aldrich,  while  in  the  discharge  of  his  official  duty  as  election  com- 
missioner, was  Company  A,  of  the  Eleventh  Pennsylvania  Cavalry,  among  whom 
were  a  number  of  his  personal  friends  and  acquaintances.  The  compiler  deems 
it  an  appropriate  closing  of  this  sketch  to  quote  a  few  brief  extracts  from  the 
very  interesting  account  which  ]\Ir.  Aldrich  has  given  of  his  visit  to  the  eastern 
army,  upon  that  occasion : 

*  *  *  "A  company  had  gone  from  Fort  Dodge,  with  many  of  the 
members  of  which  I  was  acquainted,  to  the  army  of  the  Potomac.  The  theory 
in  the  formation  of  the  regiment  at  the  start  was  to  make  it  a  composite  afifair, 
comprising  one  company  from  each  of  a  certain  number  of  states ;  but  the  effort 
failed  to  materialize,  the  adjutant  general  not  being  authorized  to  organize  such 
regiments ;  and,  when  the  command  was  fully  mustered  in,  it  was  christened  the 
Eleventh    Pennsylvania    Cavalry     *     *     *     I    do    not    go    into    the    history    of 


112  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

this  company  to  any  farther  extent,  for  the  reason  that  an  article  elsewhere 
in  this  number  details  minutely  the  services  of  the  company,  and  presents  its  full 
roster,  showing  the  killed  and  wounded,  as  well  as  the  few  in  the  command  at 
its  muster  out  *  *  *  It  is  but  simple  justice  that  this  gallant  command 
should  be  placed  permanently  in  our  records.  I  trust  that  its  appearance  in 
these  pages  will  accomplish  that  purpose. 

'T  reported  to  the  secretary  of  state  at  Des  Moines,  where  I  received  my 
instructions,  with  the  poll  books,  blanks,  etc. ;  I  also  carried  tickets  provided  by 
each  of  the  political  parties.  The  journey  to  Washington  was  without  any 
special  incident.  I  applied  at  the  war  department  for  permission  to  visit 
General  Grant's  army  in  my  official  capacity  as  'Army  Vote  Commissioner,' 
and  was  referred  to  Major  Henry  Clay  Wood,  (who,  I  believe,  if  living,  must 
be  a  gray-haired  colonel  by  this  time)  an  assistant  adjutant  general.  I'  found 
him  an  exceedingly  afifable  and  pleasant  gentleman.  He  gave  me  the  neces- 
sary permit,  limiting  my  stay  to  a  certain  number  of  days,  five  or  six.  I  took 
the  first  steamer  down  the  Potomac  and  up  the  James,  and  in  due  time  landed 
on  the  point  at  the  junction  of  the  latter  stream  wnth  the  Appomattox.  I  was 
not  long  in  finding  Charles  A.  Sherman,  of  Fort  Dodge,  who  had  been  pro- 
moted to  first  lieutenant  and  assistant  quartermaster,  and  had  been  detailed 
for  duty  at  the  headquarters  of  General  August  V.  Kautz,  the  distinguished 
cavalry  leader.  'Charlie'  was  an  old  political  and  personal  friend,  and  gave  me 
a  most  cordial  welcome  to  his  tent  and  mess  table.  He  wanted  to  vote,  and 
proffered  to  go  out  with  me  the  next  day  to  the  point  where  the  men  were 
stationed,  doing  picket  duty,   far  to  the  front. 

'*W^e  were  up  in  the  morning  very  early,  leaving  camp  on  horseback  as  soon 
as  we  had  taken  our  breakfast.  We  crossed  the  James  at  Deep  Bottom,  on 
a  pontoon  bridge,  and  started  bfi  in  the  direction  of  Richmond,  following  the 
old  road  *  *  *  We  now  struck  into  the  'Long  Bridge  road,'  which  led 
off  through  thick,  grand  old  pine  woods,  toward  Richmond.  This  was  an 
ancient  and  very  narrow  road,  which  had  never  been  used  very  much,  or  had 
been  long  abandoned.  It  was  very  crooked,  and  at  many  points  nearly  choked 
up  with  briars  and  brush.  But  it  was  lined  with  our  pickets.  These  men  were 
stationed  at  such  frequent  intervals  that  each  could  see  the  one  next  ahead. 
They  were  all  mounted,  sitting  motionless  and  mute,  with  their  carbines 
cocked,  the  very  impersonation  of  alertness  and  vigilance.  It  certainly  looked 
very  much  like  war,  to  see  these  grim  soldiers  peering  into  the  woods,  as  if  in 
momentary  expectation  of  seeing  the  approaching  enemy.  We  finally  reached 
the  most  advanced  picket  post,  where  we  found  Colonel  Spear  and  a  com- 
pany of  cavalrymen.  Lieutenant  Sherman  introduced  me  to  the  colonel,  stating 
the  errand  upon  which  I  had  come.  After  a  hearty  and  most  cordial  greet- 
ing, I  waited  a  moment  to  hear  what  the  Colonel  might  say.  He  spoke  in  an 
instant,  about  as  follows : 

"  'Well,  young  man,  if  you  are  going  to  do  anything  here,  you  had  better 
get  about  it — Cjuick.  You  don't  know  the  peril  you  are  in  at  this  very  moment ! 
That  line  of  trees  over  yonder  (across  a  meadow  or  pasture,  and  not  more 
than  forty  or  fifty  rods  away)  is  full  of  Johnnies,  and  they  may  open  fire  upon 
us  at  any  minute!' 

"  'All  right,  colonel,  here  goes !' 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  113 

"An  election  board  was  quickly  appointed  'by  the  commissioner'  from  the 
soldiers,  (as  the  law  stipulated)  and  a  cigar  box  fitted  up  for  a  ballot  box. 
The  men  were  brought  in  as  quickly  as  possible,  and  in  less  time  than  one  can 
imagine  our  votes  were  all  in  and  canvassed.  *  *  *  i  y^ras  informed  that 
we  were  within  less  than  eight  miles  of  Richmond,  and  that  the  spires  of  the 
city  could  be  plainly  seen  from  a  point  quite  near  by.  I  have  always  supposed 
that  the  election  was  held  nearer  the  front,  and  in  closer  proximity  to  actual 
peril,  than  that  organized  by  any  other  army  vote  commissioner. 

'*  *  *  -  We  were  not  disposed  to  linger  an  instant,  and  Lieutenant 
Sherman  and  I  mounted  our  horses  and  started  for  the  rear.  A  young  sec- 
ond lieutenant,  by  the  name  of  Oscar  Matthews,  from  Dickinson  county,  Iowa, 
returned  with  us.  He  was  a  pleasant,  handsome  boy.  He  had  been  in  many 
battles,  and  the  little  black  horse  which  he  rode  had  not  yet  fully  recovered 
from  an  ugly  wound  in  the  side,  and  had  other  scars  besides.  He  was  very 
attentive  to  us,  and  showed  us  many  interesting  objects  along  our  route.  At 
the  battle  of  Five  Forks,  on  April  i,  1865,  this, gallant  young  officer  was  killed, 
while  leading  his  men  in  a  charge.     *     *     *     " 

ROSTER   COMPANY    A,    ELEVENTH    PENNSYLVANIA   VOLUNTEER   CAVALRY 

Franklin  A.  Stratton,  captain;  George  S.  Ringland,  first  lieutenant;  George 
W.  Bassett,  second  lieutenant. 

Barbor,  William  A.,  age  eighteen;  residence,  Border  Plains;  enlisted,  August 
18,  1861  ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  promoted  corporal,  July  7,  1864;  first 
lieutenant,  October  6,  1864;  taken  prisoner,  October  7,  1864,  Darbytown  Road; 
died  while  a  prisoner. 

Barclay,  John  J.,  age  twenty-eight;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  August 
15,  1861,  as  first  sergeant;  promoted  second  lieutenant,  August  20,  1862;  first 
lieutenant,  January  25,  1863;  wounded  and  taken  prisoner,  June  29,  1864,  Reams' 
Station,  A^irginia;  mustered  out,  September  28,  1864. 

Barnes,  James  R.,  age  twenty-one ;  residence.  Border  Plains ;  enlisted,  August 
18,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  killed,  June  9,  1864,  in  front  of 
Petersburg. 

Bassett,  George  W.,  age  thirty-four;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  appointed  sec- 
ond lieutenant,  August  7,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  promoted  first 
lieutenant,  August  20,  1862;  wounded,  December,  1862,  Franklin,  Virginia; 
resigned,  January  25,  1863. 

Beach,  James  A.,  age  twenty-one ;  residence.  Border  Plains ;  enlisted,  i\ugust 
24,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  died,  January  30,  1863,  of  wounds 
received  at  Deserted  House,  \^irginia. 

Beyers,  John  F.,  age  twenty-nine ;  residence,  Webster  county ;  nativity,  New 
York;  enlisted,  January  2,  1864;  mustered,  January  12,  1864;  no  further  record 
found. 

Binkley,  George  W.,  age  eighteen ;  residence.  Border  Plains ;  enlisted,  August 
T(^,   1861  ;   mustered,   September   21,    1861 ;   mustered   out,    September  20,    1864. 

Binkley,  Lafayette,  age  nineteen,  residence.  Border  Plains ;  enlisted,  Sep- 
tember 15,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  20, 
1864. 


114  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Blake,  Fletcher  A.,  age  twenty-six ;  residence,  Spirit  Lake ;  enlisted,  August 
2^,  1861,  as  second  sergeant;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  promoted  first  ser- 
geant, August  20,  1862;  second  lieutenant,  January  25,  1863;  resigned,  Septem- 
ber 21,   1863. 

Bowers,  Peter;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  August  26,  1861 ;  mustered, 
September  21,  1861 ;  killed,  October  9,  1861,  on  railroad,  near  Lewiston,  Penn- 
sylvania. 

Brown,  John  F.,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Waterloo;  enlisted,  September 
28,  1 86 1 ;  mustered,  September  28,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  28,  1864. 

Burright,  William  H.,  age  twenty ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  enlisted,  August 
15,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  taken  prisoner,  January  29,  1864;  was 
in  Andersonville ;  no  further  record  found. 

Carpenter,  Daniel;  residence.  Border  Plains;  enlisted,  August  20,  1861  • 
mustered,  November  2,  1861 ;  died  of  disease,  December  24,  i86r,  Washington, 
D.  C. 

Carpenter,  William,  age  thirty-one;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  August 
17,  1861,  as  first  corporal;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out.  Sep- 
tember 20,  1864. 

Carrier,  Lucius  L.,  age  eighteen;  residence,  Dubuque;  enlisted,  September 
28,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  28,  1861 ;  promoted  company  commissary  ser- 
geant, October  19,  1864;  first  sergeant,  February  14,  1865;  second  lieutenant,. 
May,  1865;  first  lieutenant,  August  13,  1865;  mustered  out,  August  13,  1865. 
Camp  Cadwalader,  Philadelphia,  Pennsylvania, 

Carter,  Allen  B.,  age  twenty-one;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  August 
21,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864. 

Chandler,  Starling,  age  twenty;  residence,  Waterloo;  enlisted,  September 
28,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  28,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  28,  1864. 

Chase,  Leander,  age  thirty;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  August  20, 
1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  21,  1864. 

Clark,  Henry,  age  nineteen ;  residence,  Dubuque ;  enlisted  September  2^,. 
1861 ;  mustered,  September  23,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  23,  1864. 

Cooper,  Henry,  age  twenty-four ;  residence,  Jamestown ;  enlisted,  Septem- 
ber 9,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  21,  1864. 

Cragg,  Harry  P.,  age  twenty-three;  residence,  Humboldt  county;  nativity, 
Pennsylvania;  enlisted,  December  29,  1863;  mustered,  January  16,  1864;  trans- 
ferred to  Company  L,  Fourth  Cavalry. 

Crosby,  Charles  T.,  age  twenty-seven;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity,. 
New  York;  enlisted,  January  2,  1864*;  mustered,  January  12,  1864;  trans- 
ferred to  Company  I,  Thirty-second  Infantry.     Company  A,  Eighth  Infantry. 

Crosby,  George  H.,  age  twenty;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  September 
3,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  promoted  sergeant,  January,  1864: 
mustered  out,  September  21,  1864. 

Cruikshank,  George  L.,  age  twenty-seven ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  enlisted 
September  15,  1861,  as  fourth  sergeant;  mustered,  September  21,  1861  ;  pro- 
moted company  quartermaster  sergeant,  1862;  first  sergeant,  September  21,. 
1863;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864. 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  115 

Daniels,  George,  age  twenty-three ;  residence,  Spirit  Lake ;  enlisted,  Sep- 
tember 7,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  20,  1861 ;  no  further  record  found. 

Davis,  Abner  T.,  age  twenty-nine;  residence,  Humboldt  county ;  nativity, 
Michigan;  enlisted,  January  i,  1864;  mustered,  January  16,  1864;  transferred 
to  Company  L,  Fourth  Cavalry. 

Emery,  Seth  P.,  age  twenty-five;  residence,  Spirit  Lake;  enlisted,  September 
7,  1861 ;  mustered,   September  21,   1861 ;  promoted  to  hospital   steward. 

Erwin,  Allen,  age  forty;  residence,  Border  Plains;  enlisted,  August  20, 
1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864. 

Evans,  Hiram,  age  twenty-two;  residence,  Jamestown;  enlisted,  August  20, 
1861 ;  mustered,  September  20,  1861 ;  deserted,  July  3,  1863. 

Fairman,  John  W.,  age  twenty-three;  residence,  Humboldt  county;  nativity, 
Canada;  enlisted,  January  4,  1864;  mustered,  January  16,  1864;  transferred 
to  Company  L,  Fourth  Cavalry. 

Fitch,  William  S.,  age  twenty-one;  residence.  Border  Plains;  enlisted,  August 
23,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864. 

Fitzgerald,  John,  age  nineteen;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  September 
10,  1861,  as  eighth  corporal;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  promoted  company 
quartermaster  sergeant,  1864;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864.  Company  K, 
First  Infantry.    (John  H.  Fitzgerald.) 

Forbes,  James  W.,  age  twenty-two;  residence,  Cedar  Falls;  enlisted,  Sep- 
tember 16,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September 
20,  1864. 

Porbes,  Thomas  J.,  age  twenty-six;  residence,  Dakotah  City;  enlisted,  Sep- 
tember 2,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  20, 
1864. 

Frantz,  Jacob  H.,  age  twenty-three;  residence,  Dubuque;  enlisted,  September 
26,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  26,  1864. 

Frost,  William,  age  twenty-four;  residence,  W^aterloo;  enlisted,  September 
28,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  28,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  28,  1864. 

Fuller,  Jared,  age  forty;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  August  22,  i86r, 
as  seventh  corporal;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  discharged  for  disability, 
September,  1863. 

Galer,  John,  age  twenty-one ;  residence,  Jamestown ;  enlisted,  September  9, 
1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  promoted  bugler,  1863;  mustered  out, 
September  21,  1864. 

Gardner,  W'illiam  V.,  age  twenty;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  August 

20,  1861 ;  mustered,   September  21,   1861 ;   promoted  corporal,    1864;  mustered 
out,  September  20,  1864. 

Hinton,  James  N.,  age  twenty- seven ;  residence,  Humboldt  county;  nativity, 
Ohio;  enlisted,  January  i,  1864;  mustered,  January  16,  1864;  transferred  to 
Company  L,  Fourth  Cavalry.      (James  j\I.  Hinton.) 

Hodge,  Albert  D.,  age  twenty-five;  residence,  Estherville;  enlisted,  August 
22,  i86i,'as  sixth  corporal;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  wounded,  January 
30,  1863,  Deserted  House;  mustered  out  on  account  of  wound. 

Holloway,  Joseph  H.,  age  twenty-three ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  enlisted, 
August    15,    1861,    as    company    quartermaster    sergeant;    mustered,    September 

21,  1861  ;  furloughed,  November,  1863;  died  at  home. 


116  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Hood,  James,  age  twenty-two ;  residence,  Jamestown ;  enlisted,  August  20, 
1861  ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864. 

Horton,  James,  age  twenty;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  September  3, 
1861  ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  promoted  corporal  in  1863;  discharged 
September,  1863,  to  take  lieutenant's  commission  in  Eighth  Iowa  Cavalry;  was 
adjutant  of  the  regiment;  killed,  Stoneman's  raid,  south  of  Atlanta,  Georgia; 
he  was  chosen  to  represent  the  cavalry  service  on  the  soldier's  monument,  Des 
Moines,  Iowa. 

Hunter,  James,  age  forty-two;  residence,  Waterloo;  enlisted,  October  11, 
1861,  as  farrier;  mustered,  October,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  October  11,  1864. 

Jenkins,  Andrew  R.,  age  twenty-five;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity, 
Pennsylvania;  enlisted,  January  2,  1864;  mustered,  January  12,  1864;  trans- 
ferred to  Company  I,  Thirty-second  Infantry.  Company  B,  Eighth  Infantry. 
(Andrew  K.  Jenkins.) 

Jenkins,  Henry,  age  twenty-six ;  residence,  Estherville ;  enlisted,  August  22, 
1861,  as  second  corporal;  mustered,  September  21,  1861  ;  promoted  company 
commissary  sergeant,  1864;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864. 

Jenkins,  James  S.,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity, 
Pennsylvania;  enlisted,  January  2,  1864;  mustered,  January  12,  1864;  trans- 
ferred to  Company  I,  Thirty-second  Infantry.     Company  B,  Eighth  Infantry. 

Jenkins,  John  S.,  age  twenty-seven;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity, 
Pennsylvania;  enlisted,  January  2,  1864;  mustered,  January  12,  1864;  trans- 
ferred to  Company  I,  Thirty-second  Infantry.     Company  B,  Eighth  Infantry. 

Johns,  \\'illiam  W.,  age  twenty-six;  residence.  Border  Plains;  enlisted, 
August  17,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  died,  August  31,  1862,  hospital, 
Suffolk,  Virginia. 

Johnson,  Samuel  O.  H.,  age  nineteen;  residence,  Border  Plains;  enlisted, 
August  17,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  committed  suicide,  while 
insane,  June  14,  1862,  near  Fortress  Monroe,  Virginia. 

Jones,  George  W.,  age  thirty-two;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity.  New 
York;  enlisted,  January  2,  1864;  mustered,  January  12,  1864;  transferred  to 
Company  I,  Thirty-second  Infantry.     Company  B,  Eighth  Infantry. 

Kendall,  Edward,  age  nineteen ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  enlisted,  August  28, 
1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861  ;  wounded,  June.  1863,  South  Anna  Bridge, 
Virginia;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864. 

Kennedy,  Edward,  age  twenty-two ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  enlisted,  August 
23,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustei-ed  out,  September  20,  1864. 

Kimball,  Jacob,  age  nineteen;  residence.  Cedar  Falls;  enHsted,  September  16, 
t86i  ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  died  of  disease,  May,  1862,  Camp  Ham- 
ilton, Virginia. 

Largent,  Joseph  F.,  age  twenty-two;  residence,  Dubuque;  enlisted,  September 
27,  1861;  mustered,  September  27,  1861 ;  no  further  record  found. 

Lindsay,  James,  age  twenty-nine;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  August 
31,  1861  ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861  ;  mustered  out,  August  13.  1865,  Camp 
Cadwalader,  Philadelphia,  Pennsylvania. 

McKee,  Joseph  A.,  age  twenty-three;  residence.  Border  Plains;  enlisted  Aug- 
ust 17,  1861;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864. 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  117 

j\Iack,  Charles  D.,  age  twenty-nine ;  residence,  Cedar  Falls ;  enlisted,  September 
i6,  1861,  as  bugler;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  20, 
1864. 

]\Ialcolm.  Augustus  H.,  age  twenty-nine;  residence,  Jamestown;  enlisted, 
August  20,  1861,  as  fourth  corporal;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  promoted 
sergeant,  1864;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864. 

Matthews,  Oscar  S.,  age  twenty;  residence.  Spirit  Lake;  enlisted,  August  22, 
1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  promoted  sergeant,  September  — ,  1864; 
second  lieutenant,  October  4,   1864;  killed,  April  i,  1865,  Five  Forks,  Virginia. 

Aleagher,  Thomas,  age  twenty-two ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  enlisted,  August 
21,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864. 

Mills,  Andrew,  age  twenty-nine;  residence,  Jamestown;  enlisted,  August  20, 
1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  wounded  and  taken  prisoner,  June  29,  1864, 
Reams'  Station,  Virginia.  Was  in  Andersonville.  Died,  March  — ,  1865,  Wil- 
mington, North  Carolina. 

Minton,  Henry  P.,  age  twenty-three;  residence,  Border  Plains;  enlisted,  August 
17,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  promoted  saddler,  1864;  mustered  out, 
September  20,  1864. 

Minton,  John  N.,  age  twenty-one;  residence.  Border  Plains;  enlisted,  August 
17,  1861,  as  fifth  corporal;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  taken  prisoner, 
August  — ,  1864;  died  in  prison. 

Moon,  James  H.,  age  thirty-three;  residence,  Humboldt  county;  nativity,  Penn- 
sylvania; enhsted,  January  16,  1864;  mustered,  January  16,  1864.  (Annals  of 
Iowa  says:     "James  Moon  came  to  the  company  from  Iowa  in  1862.") 

Moore,  Jacob  M.,  age  eighteen;  residence,  Border  Plains;  enlisted,  August  17, 
1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864. 

Morgan,  Edward  D.,  age  twenty-nine;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  Sep- 
tember 2,  1861,  as  fifth  sergeant ;.  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  promoted 
second  lieutenant,  September  21,  1863;  resigned,  July  17,  1864. 

Morrell,  Richard  M.,  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  reduced  to  ranks  from 
non-commissioned  staff,  June  i,  1862;  deserted,  June  24,  1862.  Was  not  an  Iowa 
man. 

Olcutt,  George,  age  twenty-three;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  September 
9,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864. 

Ostrander,  William,  Sr.,  residence,  Annapolis,  Md. ;  enlisted,  November  23, 
1861 ;  no  further  record  found. 

Peterson,  John  (veteran),  age  eighteen;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted, 
August  31,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  20, 
1864. 

Piatt,  Henry  A.,  age  twenty-one;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  August  24, 
1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864. 

Price,  George  R.,  age  twenty;  residence,  Dubuque;  enlisted,  September  24, 
1 86 1  ;  mustered,  September  24,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  24,  1864. 

Ring,  Euphronius  P.,  age  twenty;  residence.  Spirit  Lake;  enlisted,  Septem- 
ber 6,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  promoted  sergeant,  August  7,  1863; 
second  lieutenant,  July  7,  1864;  captain,  October  4,  1864;  resigned,  June  8,  1865. 

Ringland,   George   S.,  age  twenty-seven;   residence,   Fort   Dodge;   appointed 


118  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

first  lieutenant,  August  15,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861;  promoted  cap- 
tain, August  20,  1862;  mustered  out,  September  27,  1864. 

Rogers,  George  W. ;  residence.  Ball's  Cross  Roads,  Virginia;  enlisted,  Novem- 
ber II,  1861 ;  no  further  record  found. 

Rogers,  Samuel  R.,  age  twenty- four ;  residence.  Spirit  Lake;  enlisted,  Sep- 
tember 7,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  killed,  August  24,  1864,  near 
Weldon   railroad. 

Rood,  Isaac  P.,  age  thirty-six;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity.  New 
York;  enlisted,  January  4,  1864;  mustered,  January  12,  1864;  transferred  to 
Company  I,  Thirty-second  Infantry.     Company  B,  Eighth  Infantry. 

Ruter,  \"alentine,  age  thirty-seven;  residence,  Humboldt  county;  nativity, 
Bavaria;  enlisted,  January  4,  1864;  mustered,  January  16,  1864;  transferred  to 
Company  L,  Fourth  Cavalry.     (Valentine  Reuther  or  Ryder.) 

Shaftner,  Francis,  age  twenty-two;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  August 
21,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864. 

Sherman,  Charles  A.,  age  thirty-one ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  enlisted,  August 
21,  1861,  as  third  sergeant;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  promoted  first  lieu- 
tenant and  regimental  quartermaster,  April  4,  1862;  mustered  out,  April  3,  1865. 

Sherman,    William,    age    eighteen ;    residence,    Jamestown ;    enlisted,    August 

20,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864. 
Simmons,  Jason  B.,  age  twenty-five;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  August 

21,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  promoted  corporal,  1864;  mustered 
out,  September  20,  1864. 

Slosson,  Oscar,  age  twenty-eight ;  residence,  Jamestown ;  enlisted,  September 
9,  1861;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  August  13,  1865,  Camp 
Cadwalader,   Philadelphia,  Pennsylvania. 

Smith,  George,  age  twenty-six ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  enlisted,  August 
21,  1861,  as  third  corporal;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  Avounded,  June  25, 
1863,  South  Anna  Bridge,  Virginia;  mustered  out,  September  20,   1864. 

Smith,  George  G.,  age  twenty-five;  residence,  Estherville;  enlisted,  August 
23,  1861,  as  farrier;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  taken  prisoner,  August,  1864; 
was  in  Andersonville. 

Smith,  W^illiam  H.,  age  twenty-six ;  residence,  Webster  county ;  nativity. 
New  York;  enlisted,  January  2,  1864;  mustered,  January  12,  1864;  transferred 
to  Second  Cavalry.     (Unassigned.) 

Spring,  Ichabod  E.,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Border  Plains;  enlisted, 
August  17,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  20, 
1864. 

Stratton,  Franklin  A.,  age  twenty-nine;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  appointed 
captain,  August  15,  1861 ;  mustered,-  September  21,  1861 ;  promoted  major,  Sep- 
tember I,  1862;  lieutenant  colonel,  September  19,  1864;  colonel,  May,  1865;  was 
brevetted  brigadier  general  on  muster  out  of  service;  twice  wounded. 

Tanner,  Charles,  age  twenty-five ;  residence.  Spirit  Lake ;  enlisted,  x\ugust  22, 
1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861  ;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864. 

Taylor,  Daniel  H.,  age  twenty-eight;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  Sep- 
tember 2,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  wounded,  January  30,  1863, 
Deserted  House,  Virginia ;  lost  an  arm. 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  119 

Townsend,  Albert  H.,  age  nineteen;  residence,  Border  Plains;  enlisted,  August 
17,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864. 

Townsend,  Henry,  age  twenty;  residence.  Border  Plains;  enlisted,  August 
17,  1861 ;  muste'red,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864. 

Townsend,  James  L.,  age  twenty-two;  residence,  Border  Plains;  enlisted, 
August  17,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September  20, 
1864. 

Trusty,  Joseph  S.  ']\I.,  age  twenty-four;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity, 
Illinois;  enlisted,  January  2,  1864;  mustered,  January  12,  1864;  transferred  to 
Company  I,  Thirty-second  Infantry.     Company  B,  Eighth  Infantry. 

Underwood,  Alonzo,  age  twenty;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  August  15, 
1861,  as  saddler;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out  for  disability, 
August  21,  1862. 

Vangaasbeck,  Jesse  L. ;  enlisted,  November  23,  1861  ;  no  further  record  found. 

Vincent,  Webb,  age  nineteen ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  enlisted,  September 
3,  1861,  as  second  bugler;  mustered,  September -21,  1861 ;  promoted  company 
quartermaster  sergeant,  1863;  mustered  out,  September  20,  1864. 

Vought,  Lewis,  age  twenty-five;  residence,  Humboldt  county;  nativity,  Wis- 
consin; enlisted,  January  i,  1864;  mustered,  January  16,  1864;  transferred  to 
Company  L,  Fourth  Cavalry. 

Wall,  William  W. ;  residence,  Philadelphia,  Pennsylvania;  enlisted,  September 
30,  1861  ;  no  further  record  found. 

Welch,  \\'illiam,  age  twenty-two;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  September 
12,  1861,  as  wagoner;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  mustered  out,  September 
20,  1864. 

Wentworth,  Harrison  H.,  age  eighteen;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity, 
Pennsylvania;  enlisted,  September  29,  1863;  mustered,  January  16,  1864;  no 
further  record  found. 

Williams,  Thomas  ].,  age  twenty-one ;  residence,  Dubuque ;  enlisted,  Sep- 
tember 27,  1861 ;  mustered,  September  27,  1861 ;  mustered  out  for  disability. 

Wilson,  Richard  W.  (veteran),  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  August  27, 
1861;  mustered,  September  21,  1861 ;  deserted;  date  and  place  not  given. 

NORTHERN-     BORDER    BRIGADE 

Prior  to  the  commencement  of  the  great  War  of  the  Rebellion,  troops  belong- 
ing to  the  regular  army  of  the  United  States  had  been  located  at  the  various 
military  posts  on  the  northern  and  western  frontiers,  for  the  purpose  of 
restraining  the  Indians  from  committing  depredations  upon  the  pioneer  settlers, 
whose  homes  were  located  upon  those  frontiers.  The  sudden  emergency,  with 
which  the  general  government  found  itself  confronted,  rendered  the  withdrawal 
of  the  Federal  troops  from  those  military  posts  a  matter  of  necessity.  The 
regular  army  establishment,  which  then  existed,  constituted  only  a  nucleus  for  the 
great  army  of  volunteers  which  was  being  hastily  organized,  and  every  trained 
officer  and  soldier  was  needed  at  the  front  in  the  South  to  resist  the  hosts 
of  armed  traitors  who  had  taken  the  field,  and  were  threatening  to  dissolve  the 
Union. 


120  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

The  savage  Indian  tribes  were  quick  to  take  advantage  of  the  situation,  and  a 
series  of  depredations  and  massacres  of  whole  families  of  the  settlers  ensued. 
For  a  time  it  seemed  that  there  was  no  safety  for  any  of  those  hardy  pioneers, 
and  that  they  must  all  be  either  driven  from  their  homes  or  share  the  fate  of 
those  who  had  already  met  death  at  the  hands  of  the  Indians.  A  few  of  the 
settlers  who  lived  nearest  each  other  had  the  hardihood  to  remain  in  their 
homes  and,  by  banding  themselves  together,  and  converting  the  largest  cabin 
in  their  neighborhood  into  a  temporary  blockhouse,  where  they  could  meet  for 
common  defense  when  the  danger  signal  was  given,  indulged  the  hope  that 
they  might  be  able  to  keep  the  Indians  at  bay  until  the  troops,  which  they  had 
been  told  were  on  the  way,  could  come  to  their  rescue.  Nearly  all  of  those  who 
thus  remained  were  killed  or  taken  captives  by  the  Indians.  By  far  the  greater 
number,  however,  adopted  the  wiser  course  of  abandoning  their  homes,  and 
seeking  safety  in  the  interior  of  the  state  until  such  time  as  the  presence  of 
troops  would  make  it  reasonably  safe  for  them  to  return.  j\Iost  of  the  men,  after 
placing  their  families  in  safety,  enlisted  and  remained  in  the  service  of  the 
state  until  peace  was  restored. 

It  will  thus  be  seen  that  the  war,  inaugurated  by  the  Southern  states,  imposed 
an  unusually  heavy  burden  upon  those  Northern  states  which,  in  addition  to 
furnishing  their  full  quota  of  troops  for  the  regiments  which  were  being  sent 
to  the  South,  were  compelled  to  protect  their  own  frontiers  from  the  incursions 
of  hostile  Indians.  The  governors  of  Iowa  and  Minnesota  earnestly  co-operated 
in  their  efiforts  to  give  adequate  protection  to  the  helpless  settlers  on  the  borders 
of  their  respective  states.  In  response  to  their  calls,  militia  companies  were 
promptly  raised  and,  as  rapidly  as  they  could  be  armed  and  equipped,  were 
dispatched  to  the  frontier.  There  were  no  railroads,  and  the  navigation  of 
the  jMissouri  river,  which  was  depended  upon  for  forwarding  supplies  to  Sioux 
City  and  points  north  of  that  place,  was  rendered  exceedingly  dangerous  by 
the  bands  of  lurking  savages  along  its  banks.  Relief  was  therefore  necessarily 
slow^  in  reaching  the  imperiled  settlers. 

The  official  records  show  that,  prior  to  the  organization  of  the  Northern 
Border  Brigade,  the  only  regularly  organized  companies  of  Iowa  troops  which  had 
been  engaged  in  active  service  on  the  northern  frontier,  were  Capt.  Andrew  J. 
Millard's  Sioux  City  Cavalry  Company,  and  Companies  A,  B  and  C,  of  the 
Fourteenth  Regiment  of  Iowa  Volunteer  Infantry.  The  Sioux  City  Cavalry 
Company,  having  been  raised  nearest  the  scene  of  the  Indian  troubles,  was  the 
first  to  take  the  field.  It  was  composed  of  men  inured  to  the  hardships  of 
frontier  life,  and  generally  acquainted  with  the  Indian  methods  of  warfare.  The 
officers  and  men  of  this  company  rendered  long,  arduous  and  heroic  service  on 
the  northern  border  and  in  the  Indian  Territory,  first  as  an  independent  com- 
pany, and  subsequently  as  a  part  of  the  Seventh  Iowa  Cavalry,  to  which  regi- 
ment it  was  transferred. 

Companies  A,  B  and  C,  of  the  Fourteenth  Iowa  Infantry,  were  detached 
from  the  regiment  verv  soon  after  it  was  mustered  into  the  service  of  the 
United  States,  and  were  ordered  to  proceed  to  Fort  Randall,  Dakotah  Territory, 
for  the  purpose  of  relieving  the  battalion  of  United  States  troops,  which  com- 
posed the  garrison  at  that  fort.  These  three  infantry  companies  marched  from 
their  camp  near  Iowa  City,  by  way  of  Des  Moines,  to  Council  Bluffs  and  Sioux 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  121 

City,  Iowa,  to  Fort  Randall,  a  distance  of  550  miles,  in  thirty-five  days.  They 
were  subsequently  permanently  detached  from  the  Fourteenth  Iowa  and  became 
the  Forty-first  Iowa  Infantry  Battalion,  and  were  assigned  to  service  on  the 
frontier.  Upon  the  organization  of  the  Seventh  Iowa  Cavalry,  these  companies 
were  transferred  to  that  regiment,  which  constituted  a  part  of  the  command  ot 
General  Sully,  and  remained  in  the  Northwest,  engaged  in  active  service  against 
the  Indians,  until  the  close  of  the  war. 

The  foregoing  statement,  as  to  the  conditions  which  existed  on  the  northern 
border  and  the  part  taken  by  Iowa  troops  in  the  early  part  of  the  war  with  the 
Indians,  has  been  made  as  an  introduction  to  the  history  which  follows.  It 
became  evident  that  the  Indians  could  not  be  completely  subdued  by  the  forces 
then  operating  against  them,  and  that  adequate  protection  could  not  be  furnished 
to  the  settlers,  without  the  establishment  of  a  regularly  organized  body  of  state 
troops  and  the  erection  of  a  chain  of  defenses  along  the  Iowa  frontier.  In  his 
official  report.  Adjutant  General  Baker,  after  making  a  preliminary  statement 
of  the  condition  then  existing,  quotes  the  reports'  made  to  the  governor,  and  his 
orders  and  instructions,  with  reference  to  the  formation  of  the  Northern  Border 
Brigade.  The  statement,  copies  of  some  of  the  reports  in  full,  and  of  others 
in  part,  are  here  given  as  follows : 

''The  Indian  outbreak  in  Minnesota  in  the  latter  part  of  August  and  in 
September,  1862,  as  well  as  the  threatening  attitude  of  the  Indians  on  our  own 
frontier,  having  alarmed  our  citizens  on  the  border,  and  numerous  appeals  for 
aid  and  protection  being  made  by  them  to  the  governor,  his  excellency,  on  the  13th 
of  September,  1862,  appointed  S.  R.  Ingham,  Esquire,  of  Des  Moines,  as  his 
agent  to  proceed  to  the  exposed  frontier  of  the  state,  to  give  the  matter  his 
personal  and  immediate  attention.  His  reports  show  his  prompt,  energetic  and 
able  performance  of  his  duty." — Adjutant  General. 

"  'To  His  Excellency,  S.  J.  Kirkwood,  Governor  of  Iowa, 

Sir :  Under  your  instructions,  placed  in  my  hands,  August  29,  1862,  of  which 
the  following  is  a  copy : 

August  29,  1862. 
S.  R.  Ingham,  Esquire, 

Sir:  I  am  informed  there  is  probable  danger  of  an  attack  by  hostile  Indians, 
on  the  inhabitants  of  the  northwestern  portion  of  our  state.  Arms  and  powder 
will  be  sent  to  you  at  Fort  Dodge,  lead  and  caps  will  be  sent  with  you.  I  hand 
you  an  order  on  the  auditor  of  state  for  one  thousand  dollars.  You  will  please 
proceed  at  once  to  Fort  Dodge,  and  from  there  to  such  other  points  as  you  may 
deem  proper.  Use  the  arms,  ammunition  and  money  placed  at  your  disposal, 
in  such  manner  as  your  judgment  may  dictate  as  best  to  promote  the  object  in 
view,  to-wit:  the  protection  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  frontier.  It  would  be 
well  to  communicate  with  Captain  Alillard,  commanding  the  company  of 
mounted  men  raised  for  United  States  service  at  Sioux  City. 

Place  any  men  you  may  deem  it  advisable  to  raise  under  his  command.  Use 
your  discretion  in  all  things,  and  exercise  any  power  I  could  exercise  if  I  were 
present,  according  to  your  best  discretion.     Please  report  to  me  in  writing. 

Very  respectfully,  your  obedient  servant, 

Samuel  ].  Kirkwood. 


122  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

"  T  have  the  honor  to  report  that,  in  compHance  therewith,  I  at  once  proceeded 
to  the  northern  border  of  our  state,  to  ascertain  the  extent  of  the  supposed 
difficuhies,  and  to  do  the  needful  for  the  protection  of  our  frontier  settlements, 
should  circumstances  warrant  or  demand.  I  visited  Dickinson,  Emmet,  Palo 
Alto,  Kossuth,  Humboldt  and  Webster  counties;  found  many  of  the  inhabitants 
in  a  high  state  of  excitement,  and  laboring  under  a  constant  fear  of  an  attack  by 
Indians.  Quite  a  number  of  families  were  leaving  their  homes  and  moving  into 
the  more  thickly  settled  portions  of  the  state.  This  feeling,  however,  seemed 
to  be  more  intense  and  to  run  higher  in  the  more  inland  and  remote  counties  from 
the  border  than  in  the  border  counties  themselves.  In  Emmet  and  Kossuth,  both 
border  counties,  I  had  the  settlers  called  together  in  order  that  I  might  learn  from 
them  their  views  and  wishes  as  to  what  ought  to  be  done  for  their  safety,  or 
rather  what  was  necessary  to  satisfy  and  quiet  their  fears  and  apprehensions. 
They  expressed  themselves  freely  and  were  very  temperate  in  their  demands. 
They  said  all  they  wanted  or  deemed  necessary  for  the  protection  of  the  northern 
border  was  a  small  force  of  mounted  men,  stationed  on  the  east  and  west  forks 
of  the  Des  jVIoines  river,  to  act  in  concert  with  the  United  States  troops,  then 
stationed  at  Spirit  Lake ;  but  that  this  force  must  be  made  up  of  men,  such  as 
they  could  choose  from  amongst  themselves,  who  were  familiar  with  the  country 
and  had  been  engaged  in  hunting  and  trapping  for  years,  and  were  more  or  less 
familiar  with  the  habits  and  customs  of  the  Indians,  one  of  which  men  would  be 
worth  half  a  dozen  such  as  the  state  had  sent  up  there  on  one  or  two  former 
occasions.  In  a  small  force  of  this  kind  they  would  have  confidence,  but  would 
not  feel  safe  with  a  much  larger  force  of  young  and  inexperienced  men,  such 
as  are  usually  raised  in  the  more  central  portions  of  the  state. 

"  T  at  once  authorized  a  company  to  be  raised  in  Emmet,  Kossuth,  Palo  Alto 
and  Humboldt  counties.  Within  five  days  forty  men  were  enlisted ;  held  an 
election  for  officers,  were  mustered  in,  furnished  with  arms  and  ammunition,  and 
placed  on  duty,  twenty  at  Chain  Lake,  and  twenty  at  Estherville,  on  the  west 
fork  of  the  Des  Moines.  I  authorized  them  to  fill  up  the  company  to  eighty 
men,  if  necessity  should  demand  such  an  addition  to  the  force.  At  Spirit  Lake, 
in  Dickinson  county,  I  found  some  forty  men  stationed,  under  command  of  Lieu- 
tenant Sawyers,  of  Captain  jMillard's  Company,  Sioux  City  Cavalry,  in  the 
United  States  service.  From  the  best  information  I  could  obtain,  I  deemed  this 
a  sufficient  force  and  therefore  took  no  action  to  increase  the  protection  at  this 
point,  further  than  to  furnish  the  settlers  with  thirty  stand  of  arms,  and  a  small 
amount  of  ammunition,  for  which  I  took  bond  as  hereinafter  stated.  Not  being 
able  to  see  Captain  Millard,  he  being  at  Sioux  City,  I  did  not  place  the  company 
raised  under  his  command,  but  simply  made  an  arrangement  with  Lieutenant 
Sawyers,  by  which  the  forces  were  to  act  together  until  such  time  as  I  should  be 
able  to  see  the  captain     *     *     *  '  " 

The  remainder  of  Mr.  Ingham's  report  relates  mainly  to  the  further  distri- 
bution of  arms  and  ammunition  to  responsible  men  among  the  settlers,  to  be 
distributed  for  use  only  in  case  of  emergency,  when  it  might  become  necessary 
for  all  who  were  capable  of  bearing  arms  to  unite  their  strength  for  the  com- 
mon defense,  and  act  in  conjunction  with  the  regularly  organized  companies  who 
were  constantly  on  duty.     He  concludes  his  report  as  follows : 

"Having  done  all  that  seemed  necessary  for  the  protection  of  the  settlers  of 


CENTEAL  AVENUE,  FORT  DODGE,  LOOKING  EAST  EEOM  SEVENTH   STREET 
Parade  35th  Ainiiial  Eneampmeut,  Department  of  Iowa,  G.  A.  R.,  June  9,  1909 


\ 


'i 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  123 

the  more  exposed  of  the  northern  border  counties,  I  returned  to  Fort  Dodge  on 
the  8th  day  of  September,  intending  to  proceed  at  once  to  Sioux  City,  and  make 
all  necessary  arrangements  for  the  protection  of  the  settlements  on  the  north- 
western border.  At  that  point  I  was  informed  that  the  legislature,  then  in 
extra  session,  had  passed  a  bill  providing  for  the  raising  of  troops  for  the  pro- 
tection of  our  borders  against  hostile  Indians.  I  therefore  deemed  it  best  to 
report  to  you  for  further  instructions,  and  did  so  report  on  the  loth  of 
September." 

Mr.  Ingham  was  given  full  power  and  authority  to  put  into  effect  the  law 
authorizing  the  organization  of  the  Northern  Border  Brigade.  The  good  judg- 
ment which  he  had  exercised  in  forming  the  companies  already  raised,  and  in  the 
entire  discharge  of  his  duty  under  his  former  commission  from  the  governor, 
fully  justified  the  confidence  reposed  in  him.  He  at  once  proceeded  to  organize 
and  muster  into  the  service  the  companies  named  in  the  order,  at  the  places 
designated,  as  follows:  Webster  City,  Fort  Dodge,  Denison  and  Sioux  City. 
He  also  ordered  the  construction  of  blockhouses  and  stockades  at  Correctionville, 
Cherokee.  Peterson,  Estherville  and  Chain  Lakes.  At  Spirit  Lake  a  strong 
stockade  had  already  been  constructed.  These  places  formed  the  nucleus  of  the 
principal  settlements  on  the  northwestern  border  of  the  state.  With  the  com- 
pletion of  these  defenses,  and  their  occupation  by  the  four  companies  last  organ- 
ized, and  the  two  previously  stationed  at  Chain  Lakes  and  Estherville,  a  force 
of  250  mounted  men,  well  armed  and  equipped,  were  ready  at  all  times  to 
cooperate  with  the  cavalry  forces  under  General  Sully,  then  operating  against 
the  hostile  tribes  of  Indians  beyond  the  border.  The  wisdom  of  the  action  of 
the  governor,  in  asking  for  the  necessary  legislation  to  enable  him  to  place  an 
adequate  force  upon  the  border,  .was  demonstrated  by  the  security  subse- 
quently afforded  to  the  settlers.  Most  of  those  who  had  fled  in  terror  from  their 
homes,  returned  and  resumed  the  cultivation  of  their  farms,  with  the  knowledge 
that,  in  case  of  attack  by  the  Indians,  there  were  places  of  refuge  provided  for 
them.  Mr.  Ingham,  in  closing  his  official  report,  says:  "From  information  in 
my  possession,  I  am  entirely  satisfied  that  it  will  be  necessary  to  keep  this  entire 
force  on  duty  after  the  completion  of  the  blockhouses  and  stockades  on  which 
they  are  now  engaged." 

While  the  danger  from  attack  was  not  so  great  as  it  had  been  before  these 
precautions  were  taken,  the  fact  remained  that  the  number  of  Indian  warriors 
then  engaged  in  hostilities  far  exceeded  the  number  of  troops  under  the  com- 
mand of  General  Sully.  In  spite  of  the  disparity  in  numbers,  however,  the 
splendid  troops,  under  the  command  of  that  brave  and  intrepid  general,  had 
defeated  the  Indians  in  several  pitched  battles,  and  had  driven  them  far  beyond  the 
frontier.  The  danger  was  that  other  Indian  tribes,  which  had  thus  far  refused  to 
join  those  actively  hostile,  might  be  induced  to  go  upon  the  war  path,  and,  with 
greatly  increased  numbers,  succeed  in  compelling  General  Sully's  forces  to  fall 
back  to  the  settlements  on  the  frontier.  Keeping  in  mind  the  horrible  events 
of  the  recent  past,  there  was  still  much  to  justify  the  feeling  of  anxiety  which 
pervaded  the  minds  of  both  settlers  and  soldiers  in  those  border  counties  of 
Iowa.  To  show  how  well  this  feeling  was  justified,  the  following  extract  from 
the  report  of  George  L.  Davenport,  Esquire,  who  had  been  sent  by  Governor 
Kirkwood  to  confer  with  Governor  Ramsey,  of  Minnesota,  is  here  given: 

Vol.  1—9 


124  "  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

"  *  *  *  Upon  my  arrival  at  St.  Paul,  I  called  upon  Governor  Ramsey, 
who  gave  me  all  the  information  in  his  power.  He  informed  me  that  the  out- 
break of  the  Sioux  Indians  is  of  the  most  serious  character,  and  the  massacre 
for  men,  women  and  children  of  the  frontier  settlements,  the  largest  known  in  the 
history  of  the  country.  Nearly  six  hundred  persons  are  known  to  be  killed,  and 
over  one  hundred  women  and  children  are  in  the  hands  of  the  savages  as  pris- 
oners. The  Indians  are  very  bold  and  defiant,  repeatedly  attacking  the  forts  and 
the  troops  sent  out  against  them.  They  have  plundered  many  stores  and  farm 
houses,  and  have  driven  oflf  a  very  large  number  of  cattle  and  horses.  The 
Indians  continue  to  attack  the  settlements  almost  every  week,  keeping  up  a 
constant  alarm  among  the  people.  It  is  estimated  that  over  five  thousand  persons 
have  left  their  homes  and  all  of  their  property,  causing  immense  loss  and  sufifer- 
ing.  Governor  Ramsey  informs  me  that  he  will  have,  in  a  short  time,  about  four 
thousand  troops  to  operate  against  the  Indians,  one  thousand  of  which  will  be 
cavalry,  as  soon  as  horses  can  be  obtained     *     *     * 

'Tt  is  proposed  to  erect  stockade  forts,  at  short  distances  apart,  along  a 
frontier  of  two  hundred  miles,  and  garrison  them  with  forty  or  fifty  men  each. 
This,  it  is  supposed,  will  induce  many  to  return  to  their  farms  and  feel  that  they 
are  protected,  and,  in  case  of  alarm,  have  a  place  to  fly  to.  I  am  mvich  alarmed 
in  regard  to  the  safety  of  the  settlements  on  the  northwestern  border  of  our  state. 
I  think  they  are  in  imminent  danger  of  an  attack  at  any  moment,  and  will  be 
in  constant  danger  and  alarm  during  the  coming  winter.  As  the  Indians  are 
driven  back  from  the  eastern  part  of  Minnesota,  they  will  fall  back  towards  the 
Missouri  slope,  and  will  make  inroads  upon  our  Iowa  settlements     *     *     * 

The  foregoing  official  report,  showing  the  terrible  calamity  that  had  come 
upon  the  hapless  settlers  in  Minnesota,  afiforded  full  justification  for  the  prompt 
action  taken  by  the  Iowa  legislature  and  Governor  Kirkwood.  Had  such  action 
been  delayed,  the  depopulation  of  those  border  counties  would  have  resulted, 
either  on  account  of  the  actual  warfare  which  would  have  been  waged  by  the 
Indians,  or  the  fear  of  it,  which  would  have  caused  all  the  settlers  to  have 
abandoned  their  homes  and  removed  to  the  interior  of  the  state. 

During  the  winter,  and  a  part  of  the  summer  of  1863,  the  work  of  erecting 
defenses  at  the  dififerent  places  indicated  in  the  order  was  vigorously  prosecuted. 
The  headquarters  of  the  brigade  were  subsequently  established  at  Estherville, 
and  from  that  post  details  were  made  for  the  other  posts  along  the  line  of  the 
frontier.  Near  the  last  of  September,  1863,  (owing  to  the  defeat  of  the  hostile 
tribes  of  Indians  on  the  3d  and  4th  of  that  month,  by  the  forces  under  the  com- 
mand of  General  Alfred  Sully,  at  the  hard  fought  battle  of  White  Stone  Elill,  in 
which  the  Sixth  and  Seventh  Iowa  Regiments  of  Cavalry  greatly  distinguished 
themselves)  it  became  evident  that  the  danger  of  further  attacks  upon  the  set- 
tlers had  greatly  diminished,  and  it  was  deemed  safe  to  disband  the  Northern 
Border  Brigade,  and  to  substitute  a  smaller  force  in  its  stead.  This  force  con- 
sisted of  Captain  Ingham's  Company  A,  which,  after  the  Northern  Brigade  had 
been  mustered  out,  had  been  remustered  for  this  particular  service.  It  was  soon 
relieved  by  United  States  troops  and  was  then  mustered  out  of  the  service.  The 
hostile  Indians  had  been  driven  far  to  the  north  by  General  Sully's  troops,  and  the 
settlers  upon  the  frontier  were  comparatively  free  from  the  dangers  which  had 
formerly   threatened   them.      With   a   sufficient    force   of    United   States   troops. 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  125 

constantly  on  duty  at  the  posts  where  fortifications  had  been  erected  by  the 
state  of  Iowa,  and  the  country  to  the  north  thoroughly  patrolled  by  General 
Sully's  cavalry  scouts,  the  danger  of  the  Indians  committing  depredations  upon 
the  homes  of  the  settlers  was  reduced  to  the  minimum. 

While  the  records  do  not  show  that  the  state  troops  composing  the  Northern 
Border  Brigade  were  ever  engaged  in  serious  conflicts  with  the  Indians,  they  do 
show  that  they  performed  most  important  service  and  endured  great  hard- 
ships. During  the  time  they  were  engaged  in  constructing  the  fortifications 
along  the  line  of  the  frontier,  they  were  in  constant  danger.  Had  the  Indians 
proved  too  strong  to  be  overcome  by  the  troops  under  General  Sully's  command, 
that  officer  would  have  jetreated  to  the  state  line  and  united  his  forces  with 
those  of  the  state.  Upon  more  than  one  occasion  before  the  works  were  com- 
pleted, such  a  contingency  semed  likely  to  occur.  It  is  therefore  evident  that 
those  hardy  sons  of  Iowa,  who  braved  the  rigors  of  the  northern  winters  and  the 
risk  of  the  fierce  conflict  with  the  hostile  tribes  of  Indians  who  had  murdered 
so  many  of  the  hapless  settlers  on  the  frontier,  are  entitled  to  an  honored  place 
in  the  history  of  their  country's  defenders.  The  descendants  of  those  hardy 
pioneers,  whose  families  and  homes  were  saved  from  destruction,  will  ever 
hold  in  grateful  remembrance  the  men  who  came  to  the  rescue  of  their  ancestors. 

ROSTER    COMPANY    B,    NORTHERN    BORDER    BRIGADE 

William  Williams,  captain;  John  M.  Hefley,  first  lieutenant;  Jasper  N.  Bell, 
second  lieutenant. 

Allen,  Samuel  F.,  age  thirty-one;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity,  Indi- 
ana; enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered 
out,  August  26,  1863. 

Bass,  James,  age  thirty-two ;  residence,  Webster  county ;  nativity.  North 
Carolina;  enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  promoted 
fourth  corporal;  mustered  out,  August  26,   1863. 

Bass,  Jesse,  age  forty- four ;  residence,  Mineral  Ridge ;  nativity,  North  Caro- 
lina; enlisted,  September  24,  1862,  as  second  corporal;  mustered,  September  24, 
1862;  mustered  out,  August  26,  1863. 

Beem,  Wickliffe  C,  age  twenty-two;  residence,  Border  Plains;  nativity,  Ohio; 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  26,  1863. 

Bell,  Jasper  N.,  age  twenty-two;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
appointed  second  lieutenant,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862; 
mustered  out,  August  26,  1863. 

Blaine,  William  H.,  age  twenty-three;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Penn- 
sylvania; enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered 
out,  August  26,  1863. 

Booker,  Leander,  age  twenty-eight ;  residence,  Boone  county ;  nativity,  Ten- 
nessee;  enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered 
out,  August  26,  1863. 

Buck,  William,  age  twenty-five;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Indiana; 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  26,  1863. 


126  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Coleman,  Timothy,  age  twenty -one;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Ireland; 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  26,  1863. 

Conlee,  Smith  T.,  age  eighteen;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Illinois; 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  26,  1863. 

Crouse,  Edward,  age  thirty-three ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  North 
Carolina ;  enlisted,  September  24,  1862 ;  mustered,  September  24,  1862 ;  mustered 
24,  1862;  mustered  out,  August  26,  1863. 

Crouse,  Irwin,  age  twenty- four;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity.  North 
Carolina;  enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered 
out,  August  26,   1863. 

Crouse,  Jacob,  age  thirty-six ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  North  Caro- 
lina; enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  promoted 
farrier;  mustered  out,  August  26,  1863. 

Denslow,  B.  F.,  age  thirty-six ;  residence,  Ellington ;  nativity,  Indiana ;  en- 
listed, September  24,  1862,  as  second  sergeant;  mustered,  September  24,  1862; 
mustered  out,  August  26,  1863. 

Eslick,  John  D.,  age  nineteen;  residence,  Homer;  nativity,  Missouri;  enlisted, 
September  24,   1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out,  August  26, 

1863. 

Fitch,  Edward,  age  twenty-one;  residence.  Homer;  nativity,  Pennsylvania; 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  26,  1863. 

Flaherty,  James,  age  twenty-five ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Maryland ; 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  26,  1863. 

Harper,  John,  age  thirty-two ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Scotland ; 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  26,  1863. 

Heffner,  George,  age  twenty-nine ;  residence.  Border  Plains ;  nativity,  Penn- 
sylvania; enlisted,  September  24,  1862,  as  fourth  sergeant;  mustered,  September 
24,  1862;  mustered  out,  August  26,  1863. 

Hefley,  John  M.,  age  thirty-five ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Pennsyl- 
vania;  appointed  first  lieutenant,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24, 
1862;  mustered  out,  August  26,  1863. 

Hoisington,  Jesse,  age  thirty-eight ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Ohio ; 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  26,  1863. 

Holt,  J.  M.,  age  thirty-three ;  residence,  Webster  county ;  nativity,  Tennessee ; 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862,  as  farrier;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  reduced 
to  ranks;  mustered  out,  August  26,  1863. 

Hubbard,  John  N.,  age  thirty-five;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity,  Illi- 
nois; enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  26,  1863. 

Humphreys,  James  A.,  age  thirty-eight;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity, 
Connecticut;  enlisted,  September  24,  1862,  as  wagoner;  mustered,  September  24, 
1862;  promoted  quartermaster  sergeant;  mustered  out,  August  26,  1863. 


O 

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I— I 

50 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  127 

Jenkins,  Andrew  K.,  age  twenty-four ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Penn- 
sylvania; enlisted,  September  24,  1862,  as  bugler;  mustered,  September  24.  1862; 
mustered  out,  August  26,  1863. 

Jenkins,  James  S.,  age  twenty;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Pennsyl- 
vania; enlisted,  September  24,  1862,  as  first  sergeant;  mustered,  September  24, 
1862;  mustered  out,  August  26,  1863. 

Kaylor,  Thomas  J.,  age  twenty-five;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Indiana; 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  26,  1863. 

Landreth,  ^Matthew,  age  twenty-two ;  residence,  Homer ;  nativity,  Indiana ; 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862,  as  fourth  corporal;  mustered,  September  24,  1862; 
reduced  to  ranks;  mustered  out,  August  26,  1863. 

Landreth,  Thomas,  age  forty-three;  residence,  Homer;  nativity,  X'irginia; 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  26,  1863. 

Landreth,  \\'illiam  R.,  age  twenty-three;  residence.  Homer;  nativity,  Indi- 
ana; enlisted.  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out, 
x\ugust  26,  1863. 

Landreth,  Zachariah,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Homer;  nativity,  Missouri; 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  26,  1863. 

Long,  Eli,  age  twenty-one;  residence  Homer;  nativity,  Kentucky;  enlisted, 
September  24,   1862;  mustered,  September  24,   1862;  mustered  out,  August  26, 

1863.  ■  , 

Lowe,  Emanuel  E.,  age  twenty-two;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity, 
Illinois;  enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered 
out,  August  26,  1863. 

McCosker,  Charles,  age  forty-two ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Ireland ; 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  26,  1863. 

McDonough,  Martin,  age  twenty-four;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Ire- 
land; enlisted.  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  discharged 
for  disability,  October  15,  1862. 

McGuire,  Blythe,  age  twenty-seven;  residence.  Homer;  nativity,  Alissouri; 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  26,  1863. 

Morrissey,  Daniel,  age  twenty-six;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Ireland; 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862,  as  third  corporal;  mustered,  September  24.  1862; 
mustered  out,  August  26,  1863. 

Nicholson,  Alfred  J.,  age  twenty;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity.  Ireland; 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out, 
August  26,  1863. 

Payne,  Jonathan  W.,  age  twenty-seven ;  residence,  Webster  county ;  nativity, 
Tennessee;  enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mus- 
tered out,  August  26,  1863. 

Phipps,  Luther,  age  eighteen ;  residence,  Webster  City ;  nativity,  Massa- 
chusetts; enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered 
out,  August  26,  1863. 


128  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Pierce,  Francis  M.,  age  nineteen;  residence,  Homer;  nativity,  Missouri 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out 
August  26,  1863. 

Powers,  Walter,  age  twenty;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Maine 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out 
August  26,  1863. 

Richey,  Gasper  A.,  age  twenty;  residence,  Webster  county;  nativity,  Ohio 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out 
August  26,  1863. 

Starr,  Peter,  age  forty-two ;  residence.  Boone  county ;  nativity,  Sweden 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out 
August  26,  1863. 

Weeks,  Arthur,  age  eighteen ;  residence,  Webster  county ;  nativitv.  Ohio 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out 
August  26,  1863. 

White,  James  P.,  age  twenty-five ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Maine 
enlisted.  September  24,  1862,  as  third  sergeant;  mustered,  September  24,  1862 
mustered  out,  August  26,  1863. 

\\'illiams,  William,  age  sixty-four ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Pennsyl- 
vania;  appointed  captain,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862; 
mustered  out,  August  26,  1863. 

^^^right,  Nathan,  age  twenty;  residence.  Homer;  nativity,  Missouri;  enlisted,' 
September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out,  September 
26,  1863.  , 

Wright,  William,  age  twenty-two;  residence,  Homer;  nativity,  Missouri; 
enlisted,  September  24,  1862;  mustered,  September  24,  1862;  mustered  out,, 
August  26,  1863. 

APOSTROPHE  TO  THE  BLUE  AND  THE  GRAY 

In  this  hour  of  sacred  eulogy  of  our  dead,  no  noble  soul  will  deny  a  slight 
chaplet  to  those  who  fell  on  the  other  side.  Their  cause  is  lost  forever;  indeed, 
the  genius  of  liberty  and  the  spirit  of  modern  civilization  foredoomed  it  to 
defeat.  Never  braver  men  stood  embattled  with  a  losing  cause,  and  their  ruined 
homes,  and  broken  fortunes,  and  the  last  trenches  of  defeat  and  disaster,  filled 
with  the  best  blood  of  their  race,  attest  their  sincerity  and  devotion.  But  cour- 
age and  devotion  are  never  wholly  lost ;  and  when  the  perfect  union  of  these 
people  shall  have  come, — the  union  of  which  our  fathers  dreamed,  and  for 
which  their  sons  died, — then  the  lustrous  courage  of  our  foemen  shall  become 
part  of  the  common  history  of  our  common  race  and  common  blood.  I  lift 
my  soul  into  a  vision  of  a  noble  future,  when  strife  and  clamor  between  the 
sections  shall  be  hushed,  forever,  and  one  people,  with  one  flag,  and  one  des- 
tiny, shall  teach  only  the  gospel  of  peace  and  good  will,  from  our  northern  bound- 
ary to  where  the  southern  cross  blazes  above  the  southern  ocean.  Enlarged 
patriotism,  and  enlightened  statesmanship,  should  hasten  the  day.  Its  dawn  is 
almost  here.  Let  the  loyalty  and  courage  of  the  blue  and  the  courage  and  devo- 
tion of  the  gray  be  given  as  the  most  patriotic  duty  of  the  hour  toward  absolute 
reconciliation.  It  is  as  holy  a  cause  as  was  the  war  for  the  unity  of  these  states. 
The  blue  and  the  gray  sleep  in  peace,  side  by  side,  on  every  hill  top,  and  in  every 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  129 

valley  of  all  the  battlefields  of  the  Republic ;  over  them  bend  these  same  heavens, 
above  them  shine  the  same  stars,  fixed,  immutable;  over  them  sweeps  the  same 
flagr.  free  and  immortal.  Fallen  comrades  of  the  blue !  Fallen  foemen  of  the 
gray !  Ye  have  pitched  your  tents  together  in  the  Eternal  Bivouac  beyond  the 
stars,  where  ye  shall  camp  forever,  in  that  mysterious  and  unknown  silence  that 
shall  be  broken  only  by  the  reveille  of  the  life  immortal. — Captain  J.  A.  O. 
Yeoman,  Memorial  Address,  Omaha,  Nebraska,  May  30,  1891. 

On  March  9.  1864.  the  Thirty-second  Iowa,  with  its  brigade  and  division, 
embarked  on  transports  and  proceeded  to  the  mouth  of  Red  river.  There  were 
nineteen  transports  conveying  Gen.  A.  J.  Smith's  Division  of  the  Sixteenth  Corps, 
consisting  of  about  ten  thousand  infantry  and  three  batteries  of  artillery.  A 
fleet  of  eleven  gunboats  accompanied  the  transports  from  \'icksburg  and  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Red  river  they  were  joined  by  several  larger  gunboats.  This  formid- 
able naval  force  was  under  the  command  of  x\dmiral  Porter,  of  the  United  States 
navv.  who  was  to  act  in  conjunction  with  the  land  forces  under  command  of 
]\Iajor  General  Banks,  on  the  Red  river  expedition.  The  fleet  of  gunboats  and 
transports  entered  the  cut-ofl',  into  which  the  Red  river  empties,  and  into  which 
the  Atchafalaya  flows,  on  IMarch  12th,  and  passed  down  the  latter  river  to  Sims- 
port,  where  the  troops  disembarked.  The  regiment  was  now  a  part  of  the  Second 
Brigade  of  the  Third  Division,  Sixteenth  Army  Corps.  The  troops  composing 
the  brigade  were  the  Fourteenth,  Twenty-seventh  and  Thirty-second  Regiments 
of  Iowa  Infantrv,  the  Twenty-fourth  Missouri  Infantry  and  the  Third  Indiana 
Battery.  Col.  \\'illiam  T.  Shaw  of  the  Fovirteenth  Iowa,  the  senior  ofiicer  in  rank, 
.  was  in  command  of  the  brigade. 

At  6:00  A.  ^I.  on  the  morning  of  ^larch  14,  1864,  the  Second  Brigade  was 
ordered  to  take  the  advance,  and  marched  rapidly  in  the  direction  of  Fort  De 
Russy,  the  first  objective  point  of  the  expedition.  The  march  was  conducted  with 
great  vigor,  and  late  in  the  afternoon,  the  brigade  reached  the  village  of  Marks- 
ville,  two  and  one-half  miles  from  the  fort,  where  Colonel  Shaw  was  ordered  to 
detach  one  regiment  of  his  brigade  to  act  as  rear  guard  of  the  division.  The 
Twenty-seventh  Iowa,  was  detailed  for  that  duty.  The  other  regiments  of  the 
brigade,  and  the  battery,  then  moved  forward  and  soon  came  within  range  of 
the  enemy's  guns  in  Fort  De  Russy.  In  his  official  report  Colonel  Shaw  describes 
the  skirmish  fighting  which  occurred  prior  to  the  time  the  order  was  given  for  a 
general  assault  upon  the  fort.  Colonel  Scott  was  ordered  to  take  position  with  the 
Thirtv-second  Iowa,  on  the  right  of  the  brigade,  in  support  of  the  skirmishers  of 
the  Fourteenth  Iowa  and  the  Third  Indiana  Battery.  The  order  was  promptly 
obeyed  and  the  position  gained  with  but  slight  loss.  The  battery  was  returning  the 
fire  of  the  enemy's  guns  from  the  fort,  and  the  Fourteenth  and  Thirty-second  Iowa 
had  taken  possession  of  a  line  of  rifle-pits  from  which  the  enemy's  skirmishers 
had  been  driven,  and  from  which  an  incessant  musketry  fire  was  kept  up,  making 
it  difficult  for  the  enemy's  gunners  to  serve  their  artillery.  This  preliminary 
skirmishing  was  still  in  progress  when  Colonel  Gilbert  arrived  with  the  Twenty- 
seventh  Iowa,  and  relieved  the  skirmishers  of  the  Fourteenth  Iowa  who  had 
exhausted  their  ammunition.  General  Mov.'er,  who  had  been  directing  the  move- 
ments of  the  First  Brigade,  now  joined  the  Second  Brigade  and  placing  himself 
at  the  head  of  the  Twenty-fourth  ]Missouri,  ordered  an  immediate  assault  upon 
the  fort.     All  the  regiments  advanced  promptly  when  the  command  was  given. 


130  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

The  Twenty-fourth  Missouri,  led  by  General  Mower  in  person,  had  the  honor  of 
being  the  first  regiment  of  the  Second  Brigade  to  plant  its  colors  on  the  walls  of  the 
fort ;  the  advance  was,  however,  so  nearly  simultaneous  with  the  whole  brigade 
that  the  diiTerent  regiments  reached  the  fort  at  nearly  the  same  time.  At  6  :oo 
P.  M.  the  fort,  with  the  rebel  troops  which  composed  its  garrison,  was  in  pos- 
session of  the  Union  troops.  Near  the  close  of  his  official  report  Colonel  Shaw 
says,  in  part,  "My  command  had  in  twelve  hours  marched  twenty-eight  miles, 
fought  two  hours,  and  assisted  in  storming  and  capturing  Fort  De  Russy."  He 
commends  the  officers  and  men  of  the  battery  and  of  each  of  the  regiments  of  his 
brigade  for  the  promptness  and  good  order  with  which  they  went  into  action, 
after  the  long  and  fatiguing  march,  and  closes  by  saying,  "I  am  proud  to  say 
that  not  a  single  instance  came  under  my  observation  of  any  officer  or  soldier 
attempting  to  shun  danger  or  duty  during  the  engagement,  and  my  opportunity  was 
good  for  observing  each  regiment  as  it  came  under  fire." 

The  official  report  of  Colonel  Scott  as  to  the  part  taken  by  his  regiment  in  the 
action  at  Fort  De  Russy,  coincides  with  that  of  the  brigade  commander.  Limi- 
tation of  space  prevents  its  insertion  in  this  sketch.  He  commends  the  good  con- 
duct of  the  officers  and  men  of  the  Thirty-second  Iowa,  and  at  the  close  of  his 
report  says,  "With  devout  thankfulness  that  the  list  is  so  short,  1  append  state- 
ment of  casualties."  It  seems  almost  incredible  that  the  regiment  should  have 
gone  through  the  engagement  without  having  suffered  greater  loss  than  shown 
in  Colonel  Scott's  report,  but,  as  shown  by  the  official  reports  of  Gen.  A.  J. 
Smith,  the  entire  loss  of  the  two  brigades  engaged  in  the  capture  of  the  fort 
was  but  three  killed  and  thirty-five  wounded,  while  the  loss  of  the  Thirty-second 
Iowa  was  one  man  killed  and  two  severely  wounded.  The  rebel  garrison  at 
Fort  De  Russy  consisted  of  but  350  men,  and  it  must  be  admitted  that,  considering 
the  great  disparity  between  their  number  and  that  of  the  attacking  force,  they 
made  a  gallant  defense  before  surrendering  the  fort.  The  incessant  fire  of  the 
batteries  and  musketry  of  the  two  brigades  kept  down  the  fire  of  the  rebels  to 
such  an  extent  as  to  prevent  heavy  loss  on  the  part  of  the  Union  troops. 

The  prompt  and  energetic  movement  of  General  Smith's  command  had  inau- 
gurated the  Red  river  campaign  with  an  importat  victory.  Had  General  Smith 
then  been  placed  in  command  of  all  the  troops  engaged  in  the  expedition,  there 
is  every  reason  to  believe  that  the  disasters  which  ensued  might  have  been  pre- 
vented. After  dismantling  Fort  De  Russy  and  effectually  destroying  it  as  a 
work  of  defense,  the  troops  moved  forward  to  Alexandria,  Louisiana,  where,  in 
obedience  to  his  order.  General  Smith  awaited  the  arrival  of  General  Banks  with 
the  other  troops  under  his  command.  The  following  extracts  from  the  report 
of  Col.  John  Scott  will  show  the  movements  of  the  Thirty-second  Iowa,  from  the 
date  of  its  arrival  at  Alexandria  to  the  close  of  the  battle  of  Pleasant  Hill,  on 
April  9,  1864: 

"Went  into  camp  near  the  town  on  March  i6th,  and  remained  until  the  morn- 
ing of  the  28th,  when  we  started  by  the  Bayou  Rapids  road,  with  rations  for  three 
days,  to  meet  the  transport  at  Bayou  Cotile  Landing,  above  the  rapids.  Marched 
eighteen  miles  on  the  28th  and  nine  miles  on  the  29th,  reaching  the  landing  at 
one  o'clock  P.  M.,  where  we  remained  until  April  2d,  when  we  again  embarked 
on  transport,  and,  on  the  next  day,  landed  at  Grand  Ecore.  On  April  ist  had  bat- 
talion drill,   with   all  the   companies   together   for   the   first   time   since   we   left 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  131 

Dubuque  in  November,  1862.  Remained  in  camp  on  the  bank  of  Red  river,  one 
mile  above  Grand  Ecore,  until  the  morning  of  April  7th,  from  which  date  until 
the  night  of  the  9th,  the  following  official  reports  will  show  our  movements  and 
attendant  incidents.  The  distance  from  Grand  Ecore  to  battlefield  near  Pleasant 
Hill  is  about  thirty-seven  miles.  The  total  number  of  the  regiment  when  it 
started  on  the  march  on  April  7th,  was  four  hundred  sixty-nine,  field,  staff 
and  line.  We  entered  the  battle  with  about  four  hundred  twenty  rifled  mus- 
kets. *  *  *  On  the  morning  of  April  7th,  moving  from  Grand  Ecore,  accord- 
ing to  the  order  of  march  for  that  day,  my  regiment  was  in  the  rear  of  the 
brigade.  Everything  progressed  satisfactorily  until  about  two  o'clock  P.  M.,  when 
we  encountered  the  headquarters  train  of  Major  General  Banks,  entirely  block- 
ading the  way.  *  *  *  In  this  manner  two  brigades,  including  artillery  and 
trains,  were  delayed  more  than  four  hours,  in  the  midst  of  a  heavy  rain  storm. 
Finally  the  troops  passed  by  in  an  effort  to  reach  the  assigned  camping  ground 
before  dark,  but  failed,  and  camped  two  miles  short  of  the  proper  position ; 
subsistence  and  camp  equippage  did  not  come  up  until  the  night  was  far  advanced. 
On  the  8th  we  moved  forward  twenty  miles,  and  camped  near  Pleasant  Hill  at 
sunset.  For  several  hours  had  heard  heavy  artillery  firing  some  miles  in  advance. 
During  the  night  our  camp  was  overrun  with  stragglers  from  the  front,  who  cir- 
culated the  wildest  stories  of  disaster  and  loss  of  men,  artillery  and  trains.  On 
the  morning  of  the  9th  these  w^ere  repeated  'and  exaggerated.  The  road  was  seen 
filled  with  teams  crowding  to  the  rear.  Evidences  of  past  defeat  and  prospective 
retreat  were  everywhere  visible.  These  w^ere  the  moral  surroundings  as  my 
command  was  moved  to  the  extreme  front,  and  took  position  in  line. of  battle 
at  ten  o'clock  A.  M.,  relieving  a  portion  of  the  Nineteenth  Corps.  My  position 
in  line  on  the  extreme  left  of  the  brigade  was  supported  on  the  right  by  the  Twenty- 
seventh  Iowa  Infantry,  the  other  regiments  of  the  brigade  extending  to  the  right. 
My  left,  for  some  reason  still  unknown  to  me,  was  without  support,  though 
threatened,  and  might  be  considered  a  key  to  the  whole  position.  I  rested  in  the 
edge  of  a  wood,  in  the  rear  of  an  old  field,  across  which  my  skirmishers  occasion- 
ally exchanged  shots  with  the  enemy's  pickets  throughout  the  day,  but  without 
casualty  to  my  command. 

"*  *  *  About  four  o'clock  P.  M.,  the  activity  of  the  enemy's  skirmishers 
increased  and,  in  a  short  time,  he  advanced  across  the  open  space  in  our  front 
in  heavy  force,  moving  in  column  by  battalion,  deploying  as  he  advanced.  My 
skirmishers  were  recalled  and  my  left  company,  which  had  been  thrown  forward 
and  to  the  left  to  cover  my  exposed  flank,  was  forced  back  with  some  loss,  and 
took  its  position  in  the  line.  The  fire  of  my  command  was  reserved  until  the 
enemy  was  within  easy  range,  and  when  opened  was  so  destructive  that  he  fal- 
tered, passed  to  my  left  through  the  open  space,  and  to  my  rear,  losing  heavily  by 
the  fire  of  my  left  wing  as  he  passed,  but  threatening  to  cut  off  my  command 
from  our  main  forces.  I  at  once  sent  information  to  my  superior,  and  to  the 
commander  of  the  troops  on  my  immediate  right,  of  this  peril  to  the  whole  line ; 
but,  without  orders  to  abandon  my  position,  though  very  critical,  I  could  do  nothing 
but  change  the  front  of  my  extreme  left  to  face  the  new  danger,  and  to  protect  my 
flank  and  rear,  if  possible.  This  was  done  and  a  well-directed  fire  kept  up  to  the 
front  and  left,  which  kept  the  enemy  at  bay.  Meanwhile  he  was  steadily  pouring 
his  columns  past  my  left,  and  working  across  to  the  rear  of  my  position,  so  that 


132  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

in  a  short  time  the  battle  was  in  full  force  far  in  my  rear.  In  this  state  of  affairs 
I  discovered  that  all  the  troops  on  my  right  had  been  withdrawn,  taking  with 
them  a  portion  of  my  right  wing.  Lieutenant  Colonel  Mix,  in  charge  of  the  right 
wing,  and  Captain  Miller,  commanding  Company  B.  on  my  extreme  right,  fell, 
fatally  wounded.  My  attention  had  been  chiefly  directed  to  the  front  and  left, 
as  the  most  exposed  directions,  and  I  only  came  to  a  knowledge  of  the  retrograde 
of  the  right  when  the  first  three  companies  were  already  gone.  The  timber  and 
undergrowth  were  so  thick  that  I  could  not  observe  my  whole  line  from  any  one 
point.  The  movement  was  promptly  checked,  but  the  ground  thus  left  vacant 
was  almost  immediately  occupied  by  the  enemy,  and  a  destructive  fire  opened 
upon  us  from  a  new  direction,  rendering  it  necessar3'  that  it  should  be  met  by  a 
new  line,  which  was  done.  My  lines  now  faced  in  three  directions.  I  was  com- 
pletely enveloped,  without  orders,  and  virtually  in  the  hands  of  the  enemy,  had  he 
dared  to  close  in  and  overwhelm  us  with  his  masses  now  around  us.  This  was 
my  position  until  after  sunset,  by  which  time  the  enemy  had  left  my  front.  Pass- 
ing now  by  my  right  to  the  rear,  where  the  fight  was  still  raging,  and  observing 
by  the  fire  and  cheers  of  our  men  that  the  enemy  had  been  forced  back  on  the 
left,  and  that  our  forces  in  that  direction  could  not  be  far  distant,  I  moved  by  the 
left  flank  about  two  hundred  yards  to  the  left  and  rear,  where  I  met  and  joined 
our  most  advanced  troops.  My  brave  men  were  nearly  out  of  ammunition,  which 
for  the  past  hour  had  been  well  husbanded ;  they  were  exhausted  but  not  dis- 
mayed, and  we  felt  that  the  battlefield  was  ours.  I  inclose  a  list  of  the  killed, 
wounded  and  missing,  a  total  of  two  hundred  and  ten.  *  *  *  j\s  we  could  not 
pass  the  picket  lines  during  the  night  to  reach  our  wounded  still  upon  the 
field  where  they  had  fallen,  and  were  compelled  to  abandon  them  in  the  morning, 
I  fear  the  number  of  fatal  casualties  will  exceed  the  number  stated,  and  that 
of  those  reported  as  missing  many  are  either  killed  or  wounded.  *  *  *  Our 
position  was  such  that  many  of  the  wounded,  passing  to  the  rear,  must  have 
fallen  into  the  hands  of  the  enemy.  *  *  *  Lieut.  Col.  Edward  H.  Mix  and 
Capt.  Amos  B.  Miller  fell  at  their  posts,  while  cheering  and  encouraging  their 
men.  In  them,  as  also  in  Capt.  Hubert  F.  Peebles,  Capt.  Michael  Ackerman, 
First  Lieut.  John  Devine,  all  dangerously  wounded,  and  First  Lieut.  Thomas  O. 
Howard,  fatally  wounded,  I  mourn  the  loss  of  good  men  as  well  as  gallant 
soldiers.  The  record  of  others  is  found  in  casualty  list  in  the  body  of  this  report. 
To  Capt.  Jonathan  Hutchison  my  special  thanks  are  due,  not  only  for  his  gal- 
lantry but  also  for  repressing  reckless  exposure  among  the  men  of  his  command, 
and  thus  saving  valuable  lives.  His  son,  a  youth  of  much  promise,  was  killed 
by  his  side,  early  in  the  action." 

Then  follows  the  long  list  of  casualties,  a  summary  of  which  shows  that 
there  were  thirty-eight  killed,  one  hundred  and  sixteen  wounded  and  fifty-six 
missing;  total  two  hundred  and  ten,  about  fifty  per  cent  of  the  number  of  the 
regiment  engaged  in  the  battle.  Many  of  those  reported  as  missing  were  sub- 
sequently found  to  have  been  either  killed  or  wounded.  In  the  official  report  of 
the  brigade  commander,  Col.  William  T.  Shaw,  of  the  Fourteenth  Iowa,  mention 
is  made  of  the  Thirty-second  Iowa  and  its  gallant  commander,  as  follows: 

'T  cannot  speak  too  highly  of  my  regimental  commanders.  Of  Col.  John 
Scott,  Thirty-second  Iowa,  it  is  sufficient  praise  to  say  that  he  is  v/orthy  to  com- 
mand the  Thirty-second  Iowa  Infantry,  a  regiment  which  after  being  entirely 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  133 

surrounded  and  cut  off  from  the  rest  of  the  command,  with  nearly  one-half  its 
number  either  killed  or  wounded,  among  them  many  of  its  best  and  most  prom- 
inent officers,  successfully  forced  its  way  through  the  enemy's  lines,  and  was  in 
line,  ready  and  anxious  to  again  meet  the  enemy,  in  less  than  thirty  minutes." 

The  total  loss  of  Colonel  Shaw's  brigade  at  the  battle  of  Pleasant  Hill  was 
four  hundred  and  eighty-three.  The  losses  by  regiments  were  as  follows : 
Fourteenth  Iowa,  eighty-nine ;  Twenty-seventh  Iowa,  eighty-eight ;  Thirty-second 
Iowa,  two  hundred  and  ten;  Twenty-fourth  JMissouri,  ninety-six.  There  were 
fifteen  regiments  belonging  to  the  detachment  of  the  Sixteenth  Corps,  commanded 
iDy  Gen.  A.  T-  Smith,  engaged  in  the  battle,  with  a  total  loss  of  seven  hundred  and 
fifty-three.  It  will  thus  be  seen  that  the  four  regiments  of  Shaw's  brigade  sus- 
tained nearlv  two-thirds  of  the  entire  loss  of  General  Smith's  command.  \\^ith 
a  sufficient  number  of  troops  under  his  command  to  have  defeated  the  enemy 
had  thev  all  been  brought  into  the  engagement  and  properly  handled.  General 
Banks  utilized  only  a  portion  of  his  army  at  Pleasant  Hill,  and  thus  demonstrated 
his  unfitness  for  the  command.  He  admitted  tt)  General  Smith,  on  the  field,  that 
the  valor  of  the  troops  of  the  Sixteenth  Corps  had  saved  his  army. 

Early  on  the  morning  of  April  lo,  1864,  General  Banks  ordered  a  retreat  of 
the  entire  army  to  Grand  Ecore,  during  which  the  Thirty-second  Iowa,  with  its 
brigade  was  assigned  to  the  position  of  rear  guard.  From  Grand  Ecore  the 
retreat  was  continued  to  Natchitoches,  and  thence  to  Alexandria.  The  enemy 
had  followed  closely.  Colonel  Shaw's  brigade  still  occupied  the  post  of  greatest 
danger,  in  the  rear.  From  Alexandria  the  brigade  was  sent  below  the  town  and 
occupied  a  position  near  Governor  Moore's  plantation,  wdiere  it  had  frequent  skir- 
mishes with  the  enemy.  On  May  13th,  Alexandria  was  evacuated,  and  the  army 
began  its  retreat  down  Red  river.  The  rebel  army  continued  to  follow  closely. 
and  there  were  frequent  skirmishes.  On  May  i8th  a  severe  engagement  took 
place  at  Bayou  De  Glaize,  in  which  the  Thirty-second  Iowa  and  the  other  regi- 
ments of  the  brigade  bore  a  prominent  part.  The  regiment  was  at  that  time  under 
the  command  of  Major  Eberhart.  from  whose  official  report  the  following 
extracts  are  taken : 

"  *  *  *  At  ten  o'clock  A.  ]M.,  my  regiment  was  ordered  forward  with 
the  brigade  to  engage  the  enemy.  In  the  brigade  we  occupied  the  position  of 
Third  Battalion ;  on  tlie  right  the  Twenty-seventh  Iowa  and  Twenty-fourth  Mis- 
souri, on  the  left  the  Fourteenth  Iowa.  During  the  first  part  of  the  action,  being 
on  the  second  line,  w'e  were  under  a  heavy  fire  of  artillery.  Some  guns  from  the 
Third  and  Ninth  Indiana  batteries  being  thrown  forward  on  the  left,  the  Four- 
teenth Iowa  was  detached  as  support.  *  *  *  ^^  ^-j^js  time  I  received  orders 
to  move  by  the  left  flank  into  the  woods,,  but  the  enemy  having  advanced  so 
rapidly  as  the  batteries  came  out.  Brigadier  General  Mower  in  person  gave  me 
orders  to  change  front  by  filing  the  battalion  to  the  left,  which  w^as  done  in  time 
to  meet  the  attack.  *  *  *  fhe  enemy  was  repulsed  after  a  brisk  action  of 
ten  or  fifteen  minutes.  We  w-ere  afterwards  thrown  f.orward  into  the  woods, 
but  were  not  again  under  fire.  Owing  to  the  intense  heat  and  necessary  rapidity 
of  our  movement  many  of  the  men  were  entirely  exhausted  and  had  to  l)e  car- 
ried from  the  field.  Officers  and  men  conducted  themselves  in  a  creditable  manner 
during  the  engagement." 

In  this  engagement,  First  Lieut.  W.^illiam  D.  Templin.  of  Compam    E.  was 


134  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

very  severely  wounded,  four  enlisted  men  were  also  severely,  and  one  slightly, 
wounded.  Major  Eberhart  and  the  other  regimental  commanders  were  highly 
commended  by  Colonel  Shaw  for  the  prompt  and  efficient  manner  in  which  they 
handled  their  respective  regiments  in  this  engagement. 

On  May  19th  the  brigade  lay  in  line  of  battle  all  day  and  until  two  o'clock 
A.  M.,  of  the  20th,  when  it  again  took  up  the  line  of  march,  and  on  the  22d  reached 
the  mouth  of  Red  river,  where  it  embarked  on  transports  and  was  conveyed  to 
Vicksburg,  arriving  there  on  May  24th.  The  operations  of  the  Thirty-second  Iowa 
and  the  troops  with  which  it  was  associated  on  the  Red  river  campaign  will  ever 
stand  conspicuous  in  military  history,  for  lofty  courage,  true  devotion,  and  that 
noble  spirit  of  sacrifice  which  was  shown  under  circumstances  of  the  most  dis- 
couraging character.  No  troops  displayed  greater  heroism  during  the  ^^'ar  of 
the  Rebellion. 

On  May  27,  1864,  Colonel  Scott  tendered  his  resignation  and  severed  his 
relations  with  the  regiment.  Both  officers  and  men  regretted  to  part  with  their 
brave  commander.  In  a  short  parting  address  he  gave  his  reasons  for  resigning, 
and  carried  with  him  the  lasting  friendship  and  good  will  of  those  with  whom  he 
had  so  long  associated.  The  regiment  remained  at  Vicksburg  until  June  5th, 
when  it  again  embarked  and  proceeded  up  the  river  to  Greenville,  Mississippi,  at 
which  place,  and  at  Point  Chicot,  Arkansas,  the  rebel,  General  ]\Iarmaduke,  with  a 
considerable  force  of  infantry  and  artillery,  was  endeavoring  to  blockade  the 
river,  and  had  inflicted  much  damage  by  his  attacks  on  the  Federal  transports. 
Disembarking  on  the  Arkansas  side  of  the  river,  June  6th,  Gen.  A.  J.  Smith  moved 
his  command  rapidly  against  the  main  force  of  the  enemy.  In  the  engagement 
which  ensued  the  enemy  was  driven  from  the  field  with  heavy  loss.  The  Thirty- 
second  Iowa,  v.'ith  its  brigade,  participated  in  the  engagement  and  lost  eight  men, 
killed  and  wounded.  Having  accomplished  the  object  of  the  expedition,  the 
troops  marched  to  Columbia,  Arkansas,  and  taking  transports  there,  were  con- 
veyed to  Memphis,  arriving  there  June  loth,  and  remaining  until  June  24th,  when 
with  its  brigade  and  division,  it  started  on  the  expedition  to  Tupelo,  Mississippi. 
IVIajor  Eberhart  had  been  promoted  to  lieutenant  colonel  and  had  been  in  command 
of  the  regiment  since  the  resignation  of  Colonel  Scott.  Colonel  Gilbert  of  the 
Twenty-seventh  Iowa,  had  succeeded  Colonel  Shaw  in  command  of  the  brigade. 
The  Thirty-second  Iowa  sustained  its  full  share  of  hard  service  on  this  expedition, 
and  participated  in  the  battles  of  Tupelo  and  Old  Town  Creek,  under  command 
of  Major  Hutchison,  where,  owing  to  its  position  in  line,  its  losses  were  compara- 
tivelv  light;  but  it  ol)eyed  every  order  promptly  and  acquitted  itself  with  honor. 
Returning  to  Memphis,  it  remained  in  camp  until  August  4th,  upon  which  date 
it  started,  with  its  brigade  and  division,  upon  the  expedition  to  Oxford,  Missis- 
sippi, in  which  it  again  Ijore  its  full  share  of  hardship,  marching  in  pursuit  of 
the  elusive  enemy,  with  whom  it  did  not  come  into  contact,  and  returned  to 
Memphis  at  the  close  of  the  month. 

On  September  5th  the  regiment,  with  its  brigade  and  division,  embarked  on 
transports  and  was  conveyed  to  Cairo,  Illinois,  thence  to  Jefferson  Barracks.  Mis- 
souri, and  from  there  by  rail  to  Mineral  Point,  ^Missouri,  returning  to  Jefferson 
Barracks  on  September  29th.  On  October  2d  it  marched  with  the  army  under 
Gen.  A.  J.  Smith  in  pursuit  of  the  rebel  army  under  Gen.  Sterling  Price.  This 
remarkable  march  extended  to  the  Kansas  line.     There  is  no  record  of  the  regi- 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  135 

ment  having  come  into  conflict  with  the  enemy  on  this  long  march.  There  was  a 
strong  cavalry  force  which  kept  in  advance  and  did  most  of  the  fighting.  The 
rebel  army  was  driven  out  of  the  state  of  Missouri,  the  cavalry  keeping  up  the 
pursuit  as  far  as  the  Ozark  mountains,  and  the  infantry  returning  to  St.  Louis. 
On  this  remarkable  campaign  the  regiment  had  marched  seven  hundred  miles, 
and  upon  its  return  to  St.  Louis  on  November  i8th,  many  of  the  men  were  almost 
barefoot.  The  hardships  to  which  they  had  been  subjected  were  so  great  as 
almost  to  reach  the  limit  of  endurance,  but  they  were  only  allowed  a  single  week 
in  which  to  rest  and  recuperate  before  entering  upon  another  campaign. 

On  November  25th  the  regiment,  with  the  army  under  Gen.  A.  J.  Smith, 
embarked  on  transports  and  proceeded  to  Smithland,  Kentucky,  and  thence  up 
the  Cumberland  river  to  Nashville,  Tennessee,  where  the  troops  landed  on  Decem- 
ber 1st,  marched  three  miles  south  of  the  city  and  went  into  camp.  On  the 
15th  and  i6th  of  December,  1864,  the  regiment,  with  its  brigade  and  division, 
advanced  with  the  army,  under  Major  General  Thomas,  to  the  attack  of  the  rebel 
army  under  General  Hood.  On  the  15th,  the  Thirty-second  Iowa,  occupying  the 
position  on  the  right  of  its  brigade  and  conforming  its  movements  to  those  of  the 
troops  on  its  right  and  front,  advanced  in  line  of  battle  for  more  than  a  mile. 
It  continued  on  the  reserve  line  during  the  day  and  did  not  come  into  direct 
conflict  with  the  enemy.  When  the  enemy's  works  had  been  carried  by  the 
troops  in  its  front,  the  regiment  moved  forward  'One  mile  and  a  half  and 
bivouacked  on  the  field  for  the  night.  On  the  morning  of  the  i6th  the  regi- 
ment, Avith  its  brigade,  took  the  advance  and  soon  came  within  range  of  the 
enemy's  artillery  from  their  second  line  of  works.  Here  it  was  halted  and 
remained  for  five  hours,  awaiting  orders.  The  subsequent  movements  of  the 
regiment  on  that  day  are  described  in  the  official  report  of  Lieutenant  Colonel 
Eberhart,  as  follows : 

"At  3:30  P.  M.,  the  right  of  the  First  Division  carried  the  left  of  the 
enemy's  works;  we  then  moved  forward  at  a  double  quick  over  an  open  field, 
under  a  severe  fire  from  artillery  and  musketry,  and  in  a  few  minutes  gained  the 
intrenchments,  capturing  about  fifty  prisoners  and  five  pieces  of  artillery.  Some 
of  the  artillerists  were  killed  as  they  were  leaving  the  guns.  Private  William  May, 
of  Company  H,  dashed  forward  and  captured  the  battery  guidon.  The  regiment 
moved  forward  in  pursuit,  gathering  a  few  prisoners,  until  we  reached  the  base 
of  the  mountain,  when  we  received  orders  to  halt.  At  dark,  the  battle  being 
over,  we  were  ordered  into  camp  near  the  mountain.  Too  much  cannot  be  said 
in  praise  of  the  conduct  of  the  officers  and  men  under  the  heavy  fire  during  the 
charge;  every  one  moved  forward  with  a  determination  to  carry  the  works. 
Where  all  behaved  so  creditably  it  is  a  delicate  matter  to  make  particular  mention 
of  persons,  but  I  presume  no  exception  will  be  taken  when  I  speak  of  Lieut.  W.  L. 
Carpenter,  acting  regimental  adjutant,  who  was,  as  usual,  conspicuous  for  his 
brave  and  gallant  conduct  in  the  action,  and  was  among  the  first  over  the  rebel 
works.  Also  Capt.  Theodore  DeTar,  who,  after  pursuing  the  enemy  to  the  moun- 
tain, was  wounded  in  the  right  ankle,  making  an  amputation  necessary.  This 
will  cause  the  loss  to  the  regiment  of  one  who  has  always  been  esteemed  for  his 
excellent  qualities  as  an  officer  and  a  gentleman.  First  Serg.  Daniel  W.  Albaugh, 
Company  C,  who  was  killed  almost  instantly  by  a  minie  ball,  was  one  of  our  best 
non-commissioned  officers,  and  was  much  loved  by  his  company  as  an  officer 


136  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

and  comrade.  They  mourn  his  loss  deeply.  My  thanks  are  due  to  Maj.  Jonathan 
Hutchison  for  his  assistance  during  the  action.  I  cannot  refrain  from  mention- 
ing Color  Serg.  A.  J.  Ellis,  of  Company  G,  who  carried  the  standard.  Although 
once  thrown  to  the  ground  by  a  glancing  shot,  he  refused  to  give  the  standard 
to  anyone  else,  but  made  his  way  forward,  and  was  one  of  the  tirst  over  the 
works.  Corporal  Bell,  of  Company  G,  who  bore  the  regimental  colors,  was 
noticed  for  his  bravery  in  action.  I  send  you  a  list  of  casualties  in  the  regiment, 
which  is  light  only  because  the  artillery  was  aimed  too  high,  and  the  infantry 
were  intimidated  by  our  rapid  firing  as  we  advanced." 

The  loss  of  the  Thirty-second  Iowa  in  the  battle  of  Nashville,  December  i6, 
1864,  was  three  killed  and  fifteen  wounded.  It  had  nobly  sustained  its  well-won 
reputation  upon  other  fields  as  one  of  the  best  fighting  regiments  in  the  army. 
PVom  the  17th  to  the  30th  of  December,  it  was  engaged,  with  other  troops,  in  the 
pursuit  of  the  defeated  and  demoralized  rebel  army.  The  pursuit  was  abandoned 
at  Lawrenceburg,  Tennessee,  on  January  i,  1865,  the  regiment  marched  to  Clifton, 
on  the  Tennessee  river,  and  embarking  there  on  steamer,  proceeded  to  Eastport, 
Mississippi,  where  it  landed  on  January  5th  and  went  into  camp  for  a  well- 
earned  period  of  rest. 

On  February  9,  1865,  the  regiment  again  embarked  on  steamer,  was  conveyed 
to  Cairo,  Illinois,  and  thence  to  New  Orleans,  where  it  disembarked  on  the  21st 
and  went  into  camp  near  the  city.  On  March  7,  1865,  the  regiment  was  taken  on 
board  an  ocean  steamship  and  conveyed  to  Dauphin  Island,  where  it  remained  but 
a  short  time,  going  thence  to  Donnelly's  Landing,  Louisiana,  from  which  it  again 
took  up  the  line  of  march  and  arrived  at  Sibley's  Mills,  near  Mobile,  Alabama,  on 
March  26th.  On  April  3d  the  regiment  again  advanced  with  its  brigade  and 
joined  the  forces  under  General  Steele,  then  engaged  in  the  siege  of  Fort  Blakely. 
The  Thirty-second  Iowa  performed  its  full  share  of  duty  in  the  trenches  during 
the  siege,  but  was  so  well  protected  from  the  fire  of  the  enemy  that  it  had  but 
one  man  wounded.  The  fort  surrendered  on  the  9th  of  April,  1865,  and  that 
date  marked  the  last  conflict  of  the  regiment.  The  great  War  of  the  Rel^ellion 
was  practically  ended. 

On  April  13,  1865,  the  Thirty-second  Iowa  started  on  its  last  long  march,  and 
on  the  27th  reached  Montgomery,  Alabama,  where  it  went  into  camp,  remaining 
there  and  at  another  camp  four  miles  from  the  city,  until  July  15.  1865,  on  which 
date  it  embarked  on  steamer  and  was  conveyed  down  the  Alabama  river  to  Selma. 
From  Selma  it  was  conveyed  by  rail  to  Jackson,  Mississip])i,  and  from  that  place 
marched  to  Vicksburg,  where  it  embarked  on  steamer  and  proceeded  to  Clinton, 
Iowa,  where,  on  the  24th  day  of  August,  1865,  it  was  mustered  out  of  the  service 
of  the  United  States.  The  personal  record  of  every  officer  and  enlisted  man  of 
the  regiment  has  been  transcribed  from  the  official  records  in  the  office  of  the 
adjutant  general  of  the  state  of  Iowa,  and  will  be  found  in  the  subjoined  roster. 
It  will  be  noted  that  but  few  of  the  officers  and  enlisted  men  have  received  special 
mention  in  the  official  reports,  from  which  quotations  have  been  made  in  this 
historical  sketch  of  the  regiment.  It  will  also  be  noted  in  the  subjoined  roster  that 
aside  from  those  who  were  killed,  wounded,  or  missing  in  battle,  or  those  who 
died  from  wounds  or  disease,  or  who  were  discharged  or  transferred,  there  were 
a  large  number  of  enlisted  men  and  officers  whose  brief  records  show  only  con- 
tinuous service.     The  compiler  wishes  to  call  especial  attention  to  the  fact  that 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  187 

such  records  show  conclusively  that  the  history  of  those  men  is  identical  with  that 
of  their  regiment.  They  may  have  been,  and  in  most  instances  no  doubt  were, 
engaged  with  their  less  fortunate  comrades,  in  the  various  movements  and 
battles  in  which  the  regiment  participated,  and  the  records  of  their  service  is 
therefore  a  most  honorable  one. 

The  survivors  of  the  Thirty-second  Regiment  of  Iowa  Volunteer  Infantry 
may  well  feel  proud  of  the  history,  which  they  and  their  comrades  who  have 
answered  the  last  roll  call,  were  the  makers.  Posterity  will  lovingly  cherish 
the  memory  of  the  brave  men  who  gave  such  faithful  service  to  their  country 
in  her  time  of  greatest  peril.  The  members  of  this  splendid  regiment,  who 
were  living  at  the  time  of  its  disbandment,  have  made  their  impress  upon  the 
history  of  the  state  of  Iowa  and  of  the  other  states  of  which  many  of  them  have 
become  citizens  since  the  close  of  the  war.  In  all  the  honorabl  avocations  of  life, 
as  private  citizens,  and  in  the  public  service  of  both  state  and  nation,  they  have 
distinguished  themselves  by  the  same  devotion  to  duty  which  characterized  their 
career  as  soldiers. 


CHAPTER  X 
WEBSTER  COUNTY  IN  THE  SPANISH-AMERICAN  WAR 

WAR     DECLARED THE     GOVERNOR     CALLS      FOR     VOLUNTEERS — CAMP      m'kINLEV — 

CHICKAMAUGA    PARK — PROSPECT    OF    ACTUAL    SERVICE — RETURN 

TO  DES  MOINES MUSTERED  OUT ROSTER  OF   COMPANY 

G WEBSTER     COUNTY     SOLDIERS     IN     OTHER 

ORGANIZATIONS 

The  proclamation  of  \\'illiam  McKinley,  president  of  the  United  States, 
bearing  date  April  23,  1898,  recited  the  causes  which  led  up  to  the  declara- 
tion of  war  against  Spain,  and  called  for  one  hundred  and  twenty-five  thousand 
volunteers,  for  the  purpose  of  prosecuting  the  war.  On  April  25,  1898,  the 
governor  of  Iowa  was  advised  by  telegram  from  the  secretary  of  war  of  the 
number  of  troops  which  would  be  assigned  as  the  quota  of  the  state.  Telegrams 
were  at  once  sent  to  the  commanding  officers  of  the  four  infantry  regiments 
of  the  Iowa  National  Guard,  instructing  them  to  report  with  their  regiments — ■ 
with  the  least  possible  delay — at  the  designated  rendezvous.  Camp  McKinley, 
located  on  the  state  fair  grounds,  near  Des  Moines,  Iowa.  The  order  was 
promptly  obeyed,  and  the  work  of  reorganization  and  preparation  for  muster 
into  the  service  of  the  United  States  at  once  began,  under  the  direction  of  Capt. 
J.  A.  Olmstead  of  the  Ninth  Regiment,  United  States  Cavalry,  then  on  duty 
with  the  Iowa  National  Guard,  and  who  had  been  detailed  by  the  war  depart- 
ment as  mustering  officer  for  the  state  of  Iowa.  In  designating  the  number  of 
the  four  regiments,  it  was  decided  by  the  governor  to  continue  the  series  as 
shown  by  the  Iowa  regiments,  which  had  been  engaged  in  the  Civil  war.  The 
First  Regiment  of  the  Iowa  National  Guard  became,  therefore,  the  Forty-ninth 
Regiment  Iowa  Volunteer  Infantry,  and  the  Second,  Third  and  Fourth  were 
changed  respectively  to  the  Fiftieth,  Fifty-first  and  Fifty-second  Regiments  of 
Iowa  \"olunteer  Infantry. 

Subsequently,  the  state  was  called  upon  to  furnish  two  batteries  of  light 
artillery,  one  company  for  the  United  States  Signal  Corps,  and  one  company  of 
Colored  Immunes. 

The  Fifty-second  Regiment  was  organized  from  the  Fourth  Regiment  Iowa 
National  Guard.  The  twelve  companies  of  which  it  was  composed  were  ordered 
into  quarters  by  Governor  Shaw  on  the  25th  day  of  April,  1898.  The  desig- 
nated rendezvous  was  Camp  McKinley,  near  Des  Moines,  Iowa.  The  prompt- 
ness with  which  the  order  was  obeyed  was  evidenced  by  the  fact  that  at  10 
P.  M.,  April  26th,  the  last  of  the  twelve  companies  had  reported  at  the  rendez- 
vous.     The    regiment   was    engaged   in   the   ordinary  •  routine   camp    duty    until 

Vol.  I-IO 

139 


140  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

the  25th  day  of  May,  1898,  on  which  date  it  was  mustered  into  service  of  tlie 
United  States  by  Captain  J.  A.  Olmstead  of  the  regular  army.  Un  May 
28,  1898,  Colonel  Humphrey  received  an  order,  by  telegraph,  from  the  war 
department,  directing  him  to  proceed  with  his  regiment  by  rail,  to  Chickamauga 
Park,  Georgia,  and  report  to  the  general  in  command  of  the  troops  which  were 
being  concentrated  there.  The  regiment  left  its  rendezvous  in  Des  Moines  on 
the  afternoon  of  the  same  day  the  order  was  received,  and  was  conveyed 
by  rail — in  three  sections- — to  Chattanooga,  Tennessee,  where  it  arrived  on  the 
evening  of  May  30th,  and  moved  thence  on  the  next  day  to  Camp  Thomas, 
Chickamauga  Park,  where  it  was  assigned  to  the  Third  Brigade,  Second  Divi- 
sion, Third  Army  Corps,  Major  General  James  F.  Wade  commanding.  In 
this  camp  the  patriotic  young  men  of  the  North  and  South  were  commingled, 
all  imbued  with  the  one  thought  and  desire^ — to  serve  their  reunited  country 
in  active  warfare  against  the  Spanish  monarchy.  It  was  a  war  of  humanity, 
entered  into  on  the  part  of  the  United  States  for  the  purpose  of  securing  jus- 
tice to  an  oppressed  race,  and  not  for  the  purpose  of  conquest. 

It  was  the  earnest  desire  of  all  the  troops  in  camp  at  Chickamauga,  that  their 
stay  there  should  be  brief,  and  that  they  would  soon  be  called  upon  to  embark 
and  proceed  to  the  island  of  Cuba;  but,  in  this,  they  were  doomed  to  disappoint- 
ment. The  resources  of  Spain  were  so  entirely  inadequate  that  active  hostilities 
soon  came  to  an  end,  and  the  war  was  of  short  duration.  But  two  of  the  splen- 
didly equipped  regiments  from  Iowa  were  given  an  opportunity  for  foreign 
service — the  fortune  of  war  having  denied  to  the  others  the  opportunity  which 
they  so  much  craved. 

During  the  month  of  June,  1898,  the  Fifty-second  Iowa  was  recruited  to  the 
maximum  strength  of  a  regiment  of  infantry,  fifty  officers  and  twelve  hundred 
and  seventy-six  enlisted  men — an  aggregate  of  thirteen  hundred  and  twenty- 
six,  rank  and  file.  On  August  8,  1898,  the  regiment  was  selected  as  part  of  a 
provisional  division,  under  the  command  of  Major  General  James  F.  W^ade, 
with  orders  to  proceed  to  the  island  of  Porto  Rico;  but,  just  as  the  troops  were 
.about  to  move,  the  order  was  revoked,  and  the  regiment  w^as  obliged  to  settle 
back  into  the  dull  monotony  of  camp  life.  Up  to  this  time  the  regiment  had 
been  in  fairly  healthy  condition,  but  in  less  than  two  weeks  after  the  order  to 
proceed  to  Porto  Rico  had  been  countermanded,  it  had  as  many  men  unfitted 
for  duty  as  any  regiment  in  its  brigade  or  division.  This  decline  in  the  health 
of  the  men  was  largely  attributed  to  their  disappointment  in  not  having  been 
given  the  opportunity  for  active  service,  even  had  that  service  only  allowed 
them  a  change  in  enviromnent.  These  high-spirited  young  men,  many  of  them 
the  sons  of  veterans  of  the  great  Civil  war,  had  entered  the  service  with  high, 
hopes  that  they  would  have  the  chance  to  distinguish  themselves  in  battle. 
Instead  of  realizing  that  hope  they  had  Ijeen  kept  in  camp  in  their  own  country 
during  their  entire  time  of  service.  They  had,  how&ver,  performed  their  whole 
duty  in  the  limited  field  to  which  they  were  assigned.  The  official  report  of 
Colonel  Humphrey  closed  with  the  following  statement :  "Had  the  opportunity 
presented,  the  regiment  would  have  acquitted  itself  with  honor  and  credit  to  the 
state." 

The  regiment  left  Chickamauga,  August  29,  1898,  under  orders  to  pro- 
ceed to  Des  Moines,  Iowa,  by  rail,  and  upon  its  arrival  there  to  report  to  the 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  141 

commanding  general  of  the  department  of  the  M-issouri,  at  Omaha,  for  further 
orders.  After  reaching  Des  Moines,  the  regiment  was  granted  a  thirty-day 
furlough,  at  the  expiration  of  which  the  officers  and  men  reassembled  at  Camp 
AIcKinley,  and  were  there  mustered  out  of  the  service  of  the  United  States 
on  the  30th  day  of  October,  1898. 

ROSTER 
COMPANY   G,   FIFTY-SECOND  REGIMENT  IOWA  VOLUNTEER  INFANTRY 

\\'illiam  T.  Chantland,  captain;  Ernest  P.  Gates,  first  lieutenant;  Daniel 
Rhodes,  second  lieutenant. 

Adams,  William  H.  H.,  age  twenty-one ;  residence,  Glidden ;  nativity,  Iowa ; 
enlisted,  June  23,  1898;  mustered,  June  23,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  ]\Ioines,  Iowa. 

Alger,  Gould  ]\I.,  age  twenty-one;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  discharged  for  disability, 
September  5,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Alger,  Louie  H.,  age  nineteen;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  June  27,  1898;  mustered,  June  2"],  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Allyn,  William  F.,  age  thirty-two;  residence,  Hardy;  nativity,  Ohio;  enlisted, 
June  21,  1898;  mustered,  June  21,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des 
Moines,  Iowa. 

Arbuckle,  ^  Edmund  R.,  age  twenty-four ;  residence,  Lehigh ;  nativity,  Mis- 
souri; enlisted,  April  30,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October 
30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Ashley,  Edwin  R.,  age  thirty ;  residence,  Rolfe ;  nativity,  Illinois ;  enlisted, 
June  23,  1898;  mustered,  June  23,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des 
^Moines,  Iowa. 

Ballantyne,  James,  age  twenty-seven;  residence,  Kalo;  nativity,  Pennsyl- 
vania; enlisted,  June  22,  1898;  mustered,  June  22,  1898;  mustered  out,  October 
30,  1898,  Des  jMoines,  Iowa. 

Earth,  Benjamin  F.,  age  twenty-five;  residence,  Humboldt;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  June  21,  1898;  mustered,  June  21,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Bartlett,  Harry  V.,  age  nineteen ;  residence,  Manson ;  nativity,  Iowa ;  enlisted, 
June  24,  1898;  mustered,  June  24,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des 
Moines,  Iowa. 

Beem,  Noble  M.,  age  thirty;  residence,  Lehigh;  enlisted,  June  2y,  1898; 
mustered,  June  27,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 
Company  B. 

Betz,  Simon  P.,  age  twenty-eight;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Illinois; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898,  as  sixth  corporal;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered 
out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Bird,  William  H.,  age  twenty-nine;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Illinois; 
enlisted,  April  27,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  promoted  corporal,  July  i, 
1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Boothroyd,  \\'illiam  \< .,  age  twenty-two;   residence,  Dakota  City;  nativity, 


142  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Iowa;  enlisted,  June  21,  1898;  mustered,  June  21,  1898;  mustered  out,  October 
30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Brown,  Charles  F.,  age  twenty-seven ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Iowa ; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898,  as  fourth  sergeant;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  died  of 
disease,  September  8,  1898,  Fort  Dodge,  Iowa;  buried  in  Oakland  Cemetery, 
Fort  Dodge,  Iowa. 

Brown,  Harry  E.,  age  twenty-one;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Illinois; 
enlisted,  April  30,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Buck,  Seymour  W.,  age  twenty-one;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Min- 
nesota; enlisted,  April  30,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  died  of  disease,  Aug- 
ust 4,  1898,  Chickamauga,  Georgia;  buried  in  National  Cemetery,  Chattanooga, 
Tennessee,  grave  13,200. 

Bunger.  Bert,  age  twenty-three ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity.  Illinois ; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  died  of  disease,  September  i, 
1898,  Fort  Dodge,  Iowa;  buried  in  Oakland  Cemetery,  Fort  Dodge,  Iowa. 

Burnett.  William  H.,  age  twenty-six ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Iowa ; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898,  as  second  sergeant;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  promoted 
first  sergeant,  September  14,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines, 
Iowa. 

Campbell,  William  L.,  age  twenty-six;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Can- 
ada; enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October 
30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Carter,  Harry  L.,  age  twenty-six ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Iowa ; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Chantland,  William  T.,  age  twenty-eight;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity. 
Iowa;  appointed  captain,  April  26,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out, 
October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Colburn,  Elliott  L.,  age  twenty-one ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Iowa : 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898,  as  third  corporal;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered 
out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Cole,  Clark  S.,  age  twenty-six;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Wiscon- 
sin; enlisted,  April  27,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October 
30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Craiglow,  Samuel  A.,  age  thirty;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Wiscon- 
sin; enlisted,  April  27,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  promoted  corporal,  Sep- 
tember 9,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Cregan,  John,  age  twenty-eight ;  residence,  Barnum ;  nativity,  Illinois ;  enlisted, 
June  25,  1898;  mustered,  June  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des 
Moines,  Iowa. 

Davis,  Ernest  ]\I.,  age  twenty-four;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Penn- 
sylvania; enlisted,  April  30,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  Octo- 
ber 30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Dawson,  George  F.,  age  twenty-four;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  x'Vpril  26,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Dean,   Silas  M.,  age  twenty-three;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  143 

enlisted,  June  21,  1898;  mustered,  June  21,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Deering,  Bert  A.,  age  seventeen;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898,  as  musician;  mustered,  ]May  25,  1898;  mustered  out, 
October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Delamore,  Francis  E.,  age  twenty-three;  residence,  Clare;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  June  27,  1898;  mustered,  June  27,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Denend,  Andrew  J.,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Rolfe;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  June  25.  1898;  mustered,  June  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des   Moines,   Iowa. 

Durrell,  William  B.,  age  twenty-three ;  residence,  Dayton ;  nativity,  Iowa ; 
enlisted,  May  2,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898, 
Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Dwyer,  Thomas  P.,  age  twenty-two;  residence,  Tara;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  June  27,  1898;  mustered,  June  27-,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Eaton,  Horace  G.,  age  twenty-five;  residence,  Glidden;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  April  28,  1898;  mustered,  ^lay  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Edwards,  Newton  O.,  age  thirty-two;  residence,  Des  Moines;  nativity,  Illi- 
nois; enlisted,  May  24,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Emmons,  Amasa,  age  twenty-two;  residence,  Barnum;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  June  25,  1898;  mustered,  June  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Eves,  Samuel  W.,  age  twenty-four;  residence,  Des  IMoines;  nativity,  Penn- 
sylvania; enlisted.  May  24,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  Octo- 
ber 30,  1898,  Des  ]\Ioines,  Iowa. 

Fessel,  Frank  C,  age  twenty-one;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898,  as  fourth  corporal;  mustered,  i\Iay  25,  1898;  mustered 
out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  ^loines,  Iowa. 

Flaherty,  John  F.,  age  twenty-five;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898,  as  second  corporal;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  reduced 
to  ranks  at  his  own  request,  June  6,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des 
]\Ioines,  Iowa. 

Frederickson.  Louis,  age  twenty-three;  residence,  Lehigh;  nativity,  Den- 
mark; enlisted,  June  24,  1898;  mustered,  June  24,  1898;  mustered  out,  Octo- 
ber 30,  1898,  Des  ^Moines,  Iowa. 

Frederickson,  Thorwald,  age  twenty-three;  residence,  Humboldt;  nativity, 
Denmark;  enlisted,  June  21,  1898;  mustered,  June  21,  1898;  mustered  out, 
October  30,   1898,  Des   Moines,  Iowa. 

Gates,  Ernest  P.,  age  twenty-six;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Illinois; 
appointed  first  lieutenant,  April  26,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered 
out,  October  30,   1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Gates,  Irving  W.,  age  twenty-one;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Illinois; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898,  as  fifth  sergeant;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  mustered 
out,  October  30,   1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 


144  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Glassburn,  Asa  C,  age  twenty-one ;  residence,  Tampico,  Illinois ;  nativity, 
Illinois;  enlisted,  May  3,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October 
30,   1898,  Des   Moines,   Iowa. 

Gram,  James,  age  twenty-one ;  residence,  Humboldt ;  nativity,  Denmark ; 
enlisted,  June  21,  1898;  mustered,  June  21,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898, 
Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Greene,  Rensselaer  H.,  age  twenty-three;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity, 
New  York;  enlisted,  April  26,  1898,  as  fifth  corporal;  mustered.  May  25,  1898; 
mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Grosklaus,  Charles  F.,  age  eighteen ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Ger- 
many; enlisted,  April  30,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October 
30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Hadley,  Herbert  E..  age  twenty-two;  residence,  Badger;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Hall,  Otis  A.  J.,  age  twenty-three ;  residence,  Glidden ;  nativity,  Iowa ;  enlisted, 
April  28,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des 
Moines,  Iowa. 

Hartwell,  Floyd  S.,  age  twenty;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
eslisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  promoted  corporal,  Septem- 
ber 14,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Hawkins,  Archie  G.,  twenty-two;  residence,  Dakota  City;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  June  21,  1898;  mustered,  June  21,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Hedlund,  Charles  H.,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Dayton;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  June  29,  1898;  mustered,  June  29,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Hill,  Edward  J.,  age  twenty-six ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Iowa ; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  promoted  corporal,  June  6, 
1898;  first  sergeant,  July  19,  1898;  second  lieutenant  of  Company  K,  September 

14,  1898. 

Hill,  Roy  v.,  age.  twenty;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa;  enlistea*^ 
April  26,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des 
Moines,  Iowa. 

Jackman,  Charles  M.,  age  thirty-one;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898,  as  wagoner;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out, 
October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Johnson,  Charles  G.,  age  twenty-five;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity, 
Sweden;  enlisted,  April  30,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  Octo- 
ber 30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Johnson,  John  E.  E.,  age  twenty-one ;  residence,  Dayton ;  nativity,  Iowa ; 
enlisted,  April  30,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Jones,  Raymond  A.,  age  twenty-three;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  IVIoines,  Iowa. 

Jones,  William  E.,  age  twenty-eight ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Eng- 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  145 

land;  enlisted,  April  30,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October 
30,  1898,  Des  JMoines,  Iowa. 

Keltz,  Henry  E.,  age  twenty-four;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  ^Moines,  Iowa. 

King,  Roscoe  C,  age  twenty-six;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Ohio; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898,  as  artificer;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out, 
October  30,   1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Kirchner,  Clyde,  age  twenty-two;  residence,  Peterson;  nativity,  Iowa;  en- 
listed, June  23,  1898;  mustered,  June  2^,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898, 
Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Kruml,  Joseph,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Bohemia; 
enlisted,  June  22,  1898;  mustered,  June  22,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Kudena,  John,  age  twenty-eight ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Bohemia ; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,- 1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  ]\Ioines.  Iowa. 

Larrabee,  William,  Jr.,  age  twenty-six ;  residence,  Clermont ;  nativity,  Iowa ; 
enlisted,  ^lay  14,  1898;  mustered,"  j\Iay  25,  1898;  discharged  for  promotion  as 
captain  and  commissary  in  United  States  Volunteers,  June  17,  1898,  Chicka- 
mauga,  Georgia. 

Lundquist,  Bernhard,  age  twenty-five  ;  residence,  Stratford ;  nativity,  Sweden ; 
enlisted.  June  29,  1898;  mustered,  June  29,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Maage,  John  T.,  age  twenty-three;  residence,  Thor;  nativity,  Norway;  en- 
listed, June  21,  1898;  mustered,  June  21,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898, 
Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Magowan,  Samuel  N.,  age  twenty-three;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity, 
Iowa;  enlisted.  April  26,  1898,  as  first  corporal;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  pro- 
moted sergeant,  September  14,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des 
Moines,  Iowa. 

Maguire,  Francis  C.  C,  age  twenty-seven;  residence,  Lehigh;  enlisted,  June 
27,  1898;  mustered,  June  27,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines, 
Iowa.     (Company  B.) 

Mahart,  John  C,  age  nineteen;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  April  30,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Mavity,  James  A.,  age  twenty-five;  residence,  Glidden;  nativity,  Iowa;  en- 
listed, April  28,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898, 
Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Messerly,  Louie  H.,  age  twenty-nine;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Mis- 
souri; enlisted,  April  30,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October 
30,  1898,  Des  ]\Ioines,  Iowa. 

iVIetzner,  Julius  F.,  age  twenty-five;  residence,  Humboldt;  nativity,  Illinois; 
enlisted,  April  30,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  promoted  corporal,  July  i, 
1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

MuUer,   Max,    age    twenty-eight;    residence,    Pomeroy;    nativity,    Germany; 


146  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

enlisted,  June  22,   1898;  mustered,  June  22,   1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Mulroney,  Edward  C,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  promoted  corporal,  July  i, 
1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Xelson,  George,  age  twenty-three ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  ]\Iin- 
nesota;  enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October 
30,  1898,  Des  IMoines,  Iowa. 

Nelson,  Severt  A.,  age  nineteen ;  residence,  Hardy ;  nativity,  Iowa ;  enlisted, 
June  21,  1898;  mustered,  June  21,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des 
Moines,  Iowa. 

Nelson,  Thomas  A.,  age  tewnty-one;  residence,  Humboldt;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  June  21,  1898;  mustered,  June  21,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898, 
Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

NichoUs,  Albert  D.,  age  twenty-eight ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Iowa ; 
enlisted,  April  30,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Aloines,  Iowa. 

Norton,  William  M.,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Livermore;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  June  22,  1898;  mustered,  June  22,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Ort,  Anton,  age  twenty-one;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Bohemia; 
enlisted,  June  22,  1898;  mustered,  June  22,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Parker,  Niles  W.,  age  nineteen ;  residence,  Pomeroy ;  nativity,  Iowa ;  enlisted, 
June  22,  1898;  mustered,  June  22,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des 
Moines,  Iowa. 

Peterson,  George  F.,  age  twenty-two;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  promoted  corporal,  July  i, 
1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Peterson,  Harry  E.,  age  eighteen;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Portz,  Samuel  H.,  age  twenty-six;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  April  30,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Poyer,  Claude  B.,  age  twenty-six;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Ohio; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898,  as  company  quartermaster  sergeant;  mustered.  May 
25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Pray,  Louie  C,  age  eighteen ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Iowa ;  enlisted, 
April  26,  1898,  as  musician;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October 
30,  1898,  Des  Aloines,  Iowa. 

Prime,  Arthur  C,  age  thirty-five;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
eilisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  promoted  corporal,  July  19, 
1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,   1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Pruess,  John  F.,  age  twenty-four ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Iowa ; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898,  as  third  sergeant;  mustered,  ]\Iay  25,  1898;  mustered 
out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Rasmussen,    Soren,   age   twenty-four ;    residence,    Humboldt ;    nativity,    Den- 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  147 

mark;  enlisted,  May  24,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October 
30,  1898,  Des  'Moines,  Iowa. 

Reid,  John,  Jr.,  age  twenty-three;  residence,  Kalo;  nativity,  Pennsylvania; 
enlisted,  June  22,  1898:  mustered,  June  22,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Rhodes,  Daniel,  age  twenty-seven ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Iowa ; 
appointed  second  lieutenant,  April  26,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  promoted 
first  lieutenant  of  Company  D,  September  i,  1898. 

Richards,  Sterling  J.,  age  twenty-four;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  promoted  corporal,  Septem- 
ber I,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Rifenbary,  John  W.,  age  twenty-three;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity, 
Iowa;  enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  promoted  corporal, 
July  I,  1898;  died  of  disease,  August  26,  1898,  Fort  Dodge,  Iowa;  buried  in  Oak- 
land Cemetery,  Fort  Dodge,  Iowa. 

Roberts,  Middleton  H.,  age  twenty-three;  residence,  Rolfe;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  June  25,  1898;  mustered,  June  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Saul,  Richard  H.,  age  twenty-one;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  died  of  disease,  September 
8,  1898,  Fort  Dodge,  Iowa;  buried  at  Mitchell,  South  Dakota. 

Schleichhardt,  Carl  F.,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Senner,  George  F.,  age  twenty-two;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Aloines,  Iowa. 

Shaw,  William  E.,  age  twenty-seven ;  residence,  Dakota  City ;  nativity,  Illi- 
nois; enlisted,  June  21,  1898;  mustered,  June  21,  1898;  mustered  out,  October 
30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Sherman,  Edward  A.,  age  twenty-six ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Iowa ; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered,  IMay  25,  1898;  transferred  to  Division  Hos- 
pital Corps,  June  17,  1898;  mustered  out,  November  15,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Snook,  Cassius  A.,  age  twenty-eight ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Iowa ; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898,  as  first  sergeant;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  promoted 
sergeant  major,  July  19.  1898;  second  lieutenant,  September  i,  1898;  mustered 
out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  ]\Ioines,  Iowa. 

Stephens,  George  J.,  age  twenty-three;  residence,  Lehigh;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  June  27,  1898;  mustered,  June  27,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Storhew,  Oliver,  age  twenty-six ;  residence,  Hardy ;  nativity,  Iowa ;  enlisted, 
June  21,  1898;  mustered,  June  21,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des 
Moines,  Iowa. 

Strachan,  Charley  R.,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Humboldt;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  June  21,  1898;  mustered,  June  21,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 

Thomas,  William  H.,  age  twenty-four;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Illi- 
nois; enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  transferred  to  Division 


148  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Hospital  Corps,  June  17,  1898;  mustered  out,  November  15,  1898,  Des  Moines, 
Iowa. 

Toppings,  Harry  P.,  age  thirty-one;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  promoted  corporal,  July  i, 
1898 ;  sergeant,  September  9,  1898 ;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  INIoines, 
Iowa. 

Townsend,  Ernest  B.,  age  twenty-one ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Iowa ; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  ]\roines,  Iowa. 

Townsend,  LeRoy  J.,  age  twenty-three ;  residence,  Lehigh ;  nativity,  Iowa ; 
enlisted,  June  24,  1898;  mustered,  June  24,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898, 
Des  Aloines,  Iowa. 

Townsend,  William  H.,  age  twenty-eight;  residence,  Lehigh;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  June  27,  1898;  mustered,  June  27,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  ]\Ioines,  Iowa. 

Waldron,  James  F.,  age  eighteen;  residence,  Glidden;  nativity,  Iowa;  enlisted, 
June  25,  1898;  mustered,  June  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des 
Moines,  Iowa. 


WEBSTER  COUNTY  SOLDIERS  IN   OTHER  ORGANIZATIONS 

FORTY-NINTH    REGIMENT,    IOWA    VOLUNTEER    INFANTRY 

Fredickson,  Severene,  age  twenty ;  residence,  Lehigh ;  nativity,  Denmark ; 
enlisted,  ]\Iay  4,  1898;  mustered,  June  2,  1898;  mustered  out,  May  13,  1899, 
Savannah,  Georgia.     (Company  B.) 

Moore,  Dwight  j\L,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Kalo;  nativity,  Nebraska; 
enlisted.  May  4,  .1898;  mustered,  June  2,  1898;  mustered  out,  May  13,  1899, 
Savannah,  Georgia.     (Company  B.)  ■•* 

Smith,  ]\Iarion  L.,  age  twenty ;  residence,  Lehigh ;  nativity,  Iowa ;  enlisted. 
May  4,  1898;  mustered,  June  2,  1898;  discharged,  March  20,  1899,  Lehigh,  Iowa. 
(Company  B.) 

FIFTY-FIRST    REGIMENT,    IOWA    VOLUNTEER    INFANTRY 

Crough,  John  W.,  age  nineteen ;  residence,  Gowrie ;  nativity,  Iowa ;  enlisted, 
June  15,  1898;  mustered,  June  15,  1898;  discharged,  January  30,  1899,  Gowrie, 
Iowa.     (Company  F.) 

FIFTY-SECOND    REGIMENT,    IOWA   VOLUNTEER   INFANTRY 

Non-commissioned  Officers 

Whittlesey,  H.  Clark,  age  twenty-six;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
appointed  sergeant  major,  April  26,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  promoted 
second  lieutenant  of  Company  E,  July  7,  1898. 

Victor  A.  Blomgren,  age  thirty-two;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Illinois; 
appointed  regimental  quartermaster  sergeant,  May  4,  1898;  mustered.  May 
25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 


o 
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o 

CO 


CO 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  149 

•    Regimental  Band 

Tremain,  George  W.,  age  nineteen ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Iowa ; 
enlisted,  April  26,  1898,  as  musician;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out, 
October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 


Baldwin,  James  P.,  age  twenty;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  enlisted,  July  5,  1898; 
mustered,  July  5,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 
(Company  B.) 

Barrowman,  Charles,  age  nineteen;  residence,  Lehigh;  enlisted,  June  2^, 
1898;  mustered,  June  27,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines, 
Iowa.     (Company  B.) 

Beem,  Noble  M.,  age  thirty;  residence,  Lehigh;  enlisted,  June  27,  1898;  mus- 
tered, June  27,  1898;  transferred  to  Company  G,  July  11,  1898. 

Bender.  George,  age  twenty-three;  residence,  Duncombe;  enlisted,  July  5, 
1898;  mustered,  July  5,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 
(Company  B.) 

Bricker,  Ollie,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Dayton;  enlisted,  June  29,   1898; 
mustered,  June  29,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 
(Company  B.) 

Curry,  Roy  J.,  age  eighteen;  residence,  Lehigh;  enlisted,  June  29,  1898;  mus- 
tered, June  29,  1898;  mustered  6ut,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa.  (Com- 
pany B.) 

Chase,  Arthur  C,  age  twenty-two ;  residence,  Lehigh ;  nativity,  Iowa ;  enlisted. 
May  20,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des 
Moines,  Iowa.     (Company  C.) 

Clark,  Whittlesey  H.,  age  twenty-six;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
promoted  second  lieutenant,  from  sergeant  major,  July  7,  1898;  mustered  out, 
October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa.     Field  and  Staff.     (Company  E.) 

Corey,  Ernest  L.,  age  twenty-two ;  residence,  Lehigh ;  nativity,  Iowa ;  enlisted. 
May  14,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des 
]\Ioines,  Iowa.     (Company  F.) 

Cuppitt,  Clarence,  age  eighteen ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity.  West  Vir- 
ginia;  enlisted,  May  23,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October 
30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa.     (Company  F.) 

Eksell,  Charles,  age  twenty-four ;  residence,  Lehigh ;  enlisted,  July  5,  1898 ; 
mustered,  July  5,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 
(Company  B.) 

Fairgrave,  Andrew  E.,  age  twenty-three;  residence,  Lehigh:  enlisted,  July 
I,  1898;  mustered,  July  i,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines, 
Iowa.     (Company  B.) 

Galer,  Clarence  W.,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Lehigh;  enlisted,  July  5,  1898; 
mustered,  July  5,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 
(Company  B.) 

Gardner,  Ross,  age  nineteen ;  residence,  Gowrie ;  nativity,  Iowa ;  enlisted, 
May  21.  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des 
Moines,  Iowa.     (Company  E.) 


150  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Gosnell,  Harry,  age  twenty-two;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Ohio; 
enlisted.  May  14,  1898;  mustered,  ]\Iay  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa.     (Company  F.) 

Hill,  Edward  ].,  age  twenty-six;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
promoted  second  lieutenant  from  first  sergeant  of  Company  G,  September  14, 
1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa.     (Company  K.) 

Johnson,  John  M.,  age  twenty-seven;  residence,  Dayton;  nativity,  Kansas; 
enlisted,  April  29,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa.     (Company  K.) 

Landreth,  Clarence  A.,  age  twenty-two;  residence,  Fort  Dodge;  nativity, 
Iowa;  enlisted.  May  24,  1898,  as  musician;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered 
out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  ]\Ioines,  Iowa.     (Company  H.) 

McClosky,  Benjamin,  age  nineteen;  residence,  Kalo;  enlisted,  June  25,  1898; 
mustered,  June  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 
(Company  B.) 

Maguire,  Francis  C.  C,  age  twenty-seven;  residence,  Lehigh;  enlisted,  June 
27,  1898;  mustered,  June  27,  1898;  transferred  to  Company  G,  July  11,  1898. 
(Company  B.) 

Murphy,  John  H.,  age  thirty-four;  residence,  Lehigh;  enlisted,  July  2,  1898; 
mustered,  July  2,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 
(Company  B.) 

Morphew,  Eden  L.,  age  twenty-one ;  residence,  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Iowa ; 
enlisted,  May  23,  1898;  mustered,  i\Iay  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898, 
Des  Moines,  Iowa.     (Company  F.) 

Reed,  George  E.,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Lehigh;  enlisted,  June  2y,  1898; 
mustered,  June  27,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  JNIoines,  Iowa. 
(Company  B.) 

Rhodes,  Daniel,  age  twenty-seven;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
promoted  first  lieutenant  from  second  lieutenant  of  Company  G,  September  i, 
1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa.     (Company  D.) 

Roscoe,  Chester  A.,  age  twenty;  residence.  Fort  Dodge;  nativity,  Iowa; 
enlisted,  May  25,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa.     (Company  K.) 

Smith,  Ira  L.,  age  twenty-one;  residence,  Lehigh;  enlisted,  June  29,  1898; 
mustered,  June  29,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa. 
(Company  B.) 

Tour,  Frank  E.,  age  twenty ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Iowa ;  enlisted, 
]May  14,  1898;  mustered.  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30,  1898,  Des 
Moines,  Iowa.     (Company  F.) 

Woolsey,  William  C,  age  nineteen ;  residence.  Fort  Dodge ;  nativity,  Eng- 
land; enlisted.  May  14,  1898;  mustered,  May  25,  1898;  mustered  out,  October  30, 
1898,  Des  Moines,  Iowa.     (Company  F.) 


CHAPTER  XI 
REGULARS  AND  MILITIA 

FORT  CLARKE  ESTABLISHED COMING  OF  THE  SOLDIERS THE  FIRST  ENCAMPMENT — 

WILLIAM     WILLIAMS     APPOINTED    POSTMASTER "GOOD    ROADS"    IN    THE    EARLY 

FIFTIES — NAME  FORT  CLARKE  CHANGED  TO  FORT  DODGE — THE  MILITARY  POST  IS 
ABANDONED — MAJOR  WILLIAMS  BUYS  THE  TOWN  SITE — MILITIA  COMPANIES. 

The  establishment  of  a  military  post  at  this  point  was  the  result  of  a  petition 
of  the  citizens  of  Boone  county,  Iowa,  to  the  Unite'd  States  senate  and  house  of 
representatives,  praying  that  a  post  be  established  somewhere  on  the  Des  Moines 
river  at  or  about  the  Lizard  Forks,  for  their  better  security  against  the  Indians, 
and  for  the  encouragement  of  settlers.  By  general  orders  No.  19,  war  depart- 
ment adjutant  general's  office,  May  31,  1850,  it  was  ordered: 

"For  the  protection  of  the  frontier  settlements  of  Iowa,  a  new  post  will  be 
established  under  the  direction  of  the  commander  of  the  Sixth  department,  on 
the  east  bank  of  the  Des  Moines,  opposite  the  mouth  of  Lizard  Fork;  or  pre- 
ferably, if  an  equally  eligible  site  can  be  found,  at  some  point  twenty-five  or 
thirty  miles  higher  up  the  Des  Moines.  The  post  will  be  established  by  a  company 
of  the  Sixth  Infantry,  to  be  drawn  from  Fort  Snelling,  which  will  for  the  present 
constitute  its  garrison."  This  order  was  supplemented  by  Orders  No.  22,  head- 
quarters Sixth  military  department,  St.  Louis,  AIo.,  July  14,  1850,  which  directed 
that, 

'Tn  pursuance  of  General  Orders  No.  19,  current  series,  from  the  war 
department.  Brevet  Major  Woods,  Sixth  Infantry,  will  select  a  suitable  site  in 
the  state  of  Iowa,  near  the  mouth  of  the  Lizard  Fork  of  the  Des  Moines  river, 
for  the  establishment  of  a  military  post;  which  with  his  Company  E,  Sixth 
Infantry,  he  will  proceed  to  construct  and  garrison,  without,  however,  with- 
drawing his  personal  attention  from  the  duty  of  removing  Indians,  on  which  he  is 
now  specially  engaged.  A  military  reserve  eight  miles  in  length  (four  miles 
above  the  post,  and  four  miles  below),  along  the  river,  and  two  miles  in  depth  on 
either  side,  will  be  marked  off  and  appropriated  exclusively  to  the  present  use 
of  the  government.  The  proper  staff  departments  will  forthwith  provide  the 
stores  and  the  supplies  necessary  in  the  construction  of  the  post  on  the  Des 
Moines,  and  for  the  subsistence  and  temporary  shelter  of  the  garrison." 

Immediately  on  receipt  of  this  order  at  Fort  Snelling,  Capt.  Samuel  Woods, 
with  his  Company  E,  of  the  Sixth  Infantry,  two  officers  and  sixty-six  men  who 
were  then  in  the  field,  broke  camp  and  proceeded  to  the  point  designated,  where 
they  arrived  August  2,  1850,  and  established  a  post,  which  they  named  Fort 
Clarke,  in  honor  of  Brev.  Brig.  Gen.  Newman  S.  Clarke,  colonel  of  the  Sixth 

151 


152  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Infantry,  then  commanding  the  Sixth  military  department.  According  to  Pro- 
fessor Tuttle  (History  Iowa,  1876),  the  first  encampment  was  on  the  ground  now 
lying  between  the  Public  Square  and  Walnut  street,  between  Fourth  and  Fifth 
streets  in  the  present  town  of  Fort  Dodge.  Materials  for  building  the  necessary 
quarters  for  the  troops  were  at  once  prepared,  and  their  construction  so  rapidly 
pushed  that  by  the  first  of  December  they  were  in  condition  for  occupancy.  Early 
in  the  spring  of  185 1,  we  find  Major  Woods  urging  upon  the  war  department  the 
necessity  of  establishing  a  postoffice  at  the  fort,  around  which  settlers  were 
commencing  to  congregate,  and  recommending  Mr.  William  Williams,  the  post- 
trader,  as  a  suitable  person  to  assume  its  charge.  During  the  session  of  congress 
of  1850-51  we  find  the  merchants  of  Dubuque  petitioning  for  the  building  of  a 
road  from  their  town  to  Fort  Clarke,  but  beyond  an  estimate  of  the  topographical 
engineers  of  the  approximate  cost  of  such  a  road,  no  action  seems  to  have  been 
had  in  the  matter  during  the  lifetime  of  the  post. 

Correspondence  between  the  fort  and  the  authorities  at  St.  Louis  and  Wash- 
ington appears  to  have  been  limited  to  mere  requisitions  for  supplies,  the  rendition 
of  statistical  returns,  and  such  formal  reports  as  afiford  little  information  regard- 
ing the  events  of  the  occupation,  none  of  which  seem  to  have  been  at  all  removed 
from  the  ordinary  events  of  an  extreme  frontier  post.  It  was  regarded  at  no 
time  at  more  than  a  temporary  post,  although  as  was  customary  in  all  such  estab- 
lishments, as  set  forth  in  the  order  already  cited,  a  reservation  was  laid  off  with 
the  flag  staff  of  the  fort  as  an  initial  point,  with  lines  runnmg  four  miles  to  the 
north  and  south,  along  the  Des  Moines  river,  and  two  miles  to  the  east  and 
west  on  either  bank;  but  before  this  could  be  surveyed  and  properly  laid 
out  and  declared,  the  courts  had  decided  that  the  so-called  "Des  Moines  grant" 
extended  above  Raccoon  fork  to  the  source  of  the  Des  Moines ;  which  decision 
gave  every  alternate  section  to  the  state  of  Iowa  for  internal  improvements ;  thus 
throwing  the  post  and  its  buildings  beyond  the  limits  of  the  public  domain.  There 
is  evidence,  however,  that  Major  -^Woods  and  his  command,  found  few  idle 
moments,  in  the  routine  of  camp  duty;  in  restraining  the  Indians  from  their 
inclination  to  commit  depredations  on  the  settlements,  and  in  controlling  their 
district,  which  embraced  all  the  frontier  of  Iowa  from  the  Des  Moines  to  the 
Missouri. 

June  25,  1 85 1,  by  General  Orders  No.  34,  from  the  headquarters  of  the  army, 
the  name  of  the  post  was  changed  to  Fort  Dodge,  in  compliment  of  the  Dodges, 
father  and  son,  who  at  that  time  were  United  States  senators  from  the  states  of 
Wisconsin  and  Iowa,  and  who  were  among  the  pioneers  of  the  northwest.  At 
the  same  time  there  were  several  other  forts,  occupied  by  troops,  named  Clark 
or  Clarke,  the  effect  of  which  was  to  cause  no  little  confusion  in  the  forwarding 
of  mail  and  supplies. 

Several  causes  operated  toward  the  breaking  up  of  the  post,  which  was  con- 
templated at  intervals  during  the  whole  period  of  its  existence.  It  was  urged 
that  the  necessity  for  the  presence  of  troops  in  that  vicinity  was  of  less  impor- 
tance than  at  a  point  further  north,  and  that  for  all  practical  purposes  the  troops 
at  Crawford  (Prairie  du  Chien),  were  amply  sufficient  to  protect  that  vicinity. 
The  country  was  being  rapidly  settled  up,  and  Indian  incursions  were  becom- 
ing less  frequent  in  this  section,  and  more  troublesome  on  the  north  line  of  the 
new  purchase   from   the   Sioux   in  the   Minnesota  country,   where   it  had  been 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  ■  15a 

determined  to  locate  one  or  more  strong  posts.  It  was  not,  however,  until  the 
spring  of  1853  that  plans  were  finally  adopted  by  the  war  department  for  the 
building  of  the  fort, — which  was  afterwards  known  as  Fort  Ridgeley, — on  the 
Minnesota.  Under  date  of  -March  16,  1853,  General  Clarke  was  charged  with  the 
construction  of  the  new  fort,  which  was  directed  to  be  simultaneous  with  the 
breaking  up  of  Forts  Scott  and  Dodge.  General  Clarke's  Order  (No.  9),  is  dated 
Headquarters  Sixth  Military  Department,  Jefferson  Barracks,  Mo.,  March  30, 
1863,  and  directs  that : 

"In  pursuance  of  instructions  from  general  headquarters.  Forts  Scott  and 
Dodge  will  be  broken  up ;  the  garrison  of  the  former  will  be  marched  to  Fort 
Leavenworth,  and  that  of  the  latter  by  the  most  practicable  route  at  the  earliest 
moment  the  season  will  permit,  to  the  new  post  on  the  Minnesota.  The  com- 
manding officer  \\ill  take  immediate  measures  for  carrying  this  into  effect,  and 
for  sending  to  the  neighboring  posts  such  of  the  public  property  as  may  be  needed 
at  them,  and  for  selling  the  remainder." 

Accordingly  on  April  18,  1853,  Major  Woods  left  the  post  with  the  larger  part 
of  the  command  for  the  new  site  on  the  Minnesota,  leaving  Second  Lieutenant 
Corley  with  twenty  men  to  dispose  of  the  property.  On  June  2,  1853,  Lietttenant 
Corley  with  the  remainder  of  the  troops,  marched  out  of  the  camp,  pulling  down 
the  flag  from  its  staff,  and  before  noon  that  day  Fort  Dodge  as  a  military  post, 
had  been  wholly  abandoned.  Such  of  the  buildings  as  remained,  including  a 
steam  sawmill,  were  disposed  of  at  public  sale,  the  principal  purchaser  being 
Mr.  Wjn.  Williams,  the  late  post  trader  and  postmaster,  who  remained  at  the 
site  with  a  view  of  becoming  its  owner  as  soon  as  the  lands  could  be  surveyed  and 
placed  on  sale.  "On  the  27th  of  March,  1854,"  says  Prof.  Tuttle  "the  first  town 
plat  was  surveyed  on  the  premises  known  as  the  fort  site,  the  land  having  become 
the  property  of  Major  Williams,  who  had  made  the  purchase  in  January,  1.854." 
■  There  had  been  no  change  in  the  garrison  of  the  post,  from  its  first  occupa- 
tion until  its  final  abandonment,  Company  E  of  the  Sixth  Infantry  performing 
that  duty  during  the  whole  period.  Of  the  officers  Brev.  Maj.  Samuel  Woods,  its 
first  commandant,  was  also  its  last.  A  few  years  later  that  officer  was  transferred 
to  the  pay  department,  in  which  he  subsequently  reached  the  rank  of  colonel  and 
assistant  paymaster  general,  and  was  retired  from  active  service  January  24,  1881,. 
at  his  own  request,  having  been  over  forty  years  in  active  service.  Colonel 
Woods  died  September  22,  1887,  at  Oakland,  California. 

First  Lieut,  and  Brev.  Maj.  Lewis  A.  Armistead,  second  in  command,  and 
acting  assistant  quartermaster  and  commissary  of  subsistence  during  the  whole 
period  of  occupation,  reached  his  captaincy  March  3,  1855,  but,  together  with 
Second  Lieut.  James  L.  Corley,  who  joined  the  command  upon  the  resignation 
of  Second  Lieutenant  Tubbs,  resigned  the  service  in  May,  1861,  to  cast  his  lot 
with  the  south. 

Alajor  Armistead  became  a  brigadier  general  in  the  Confederate  army  and 
was  killed  at  the  battle  of  Gettysburg,  July  3,  1863. 

Lieutenant  Corley  became  a  colonel  and  quartermaster  in  the  Confederate 
service  and  died  March  28,  1883. 

Lieutenant  Tubbs  was  captain  of  Griffin's  battalion,  Texas  \^olimteers  in  the 
Confederate  army. 


154  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

MILITIA  ORGANIZATIONS 

The  first  militia  company  organized  in  Fort  Dodge  was  Company  "G,"  Fourth 
regiment,  Iowa  National  Guard.  Its  organization  was  largely  due  to  the  efforts 
of  Cyril  Wade  King,  who  became  the  first  captain.  At  that  time  the  armory  was 
on  the  second  floor  of  the  Parsons  building,  at  the  corner  of  Central  avenue  and 
Fourth  street. 

At  the  breaking  out  of  the  Spanish  war  the  company  was  mustered  into  the 
volunteer  service,  as  Company  "G,"  Fifty-second  Iowa  Volunteer  Infantry,  thus 
continuing  the  enumeration  of  Iowa  regiments  from  those  serving  in  the  Civil 
war. 

For  a  short  time  after  the  Spanish-American  war,  Fort  Dodge  was  without  a 
militia  company.  Interest,  however,  was  soon  aroused  and  the  company  was 
reorganized  and  mustered  in  April  4,  1899.  The  company  still  retained  the  same 
company  and  regimental  designation  which  it  had  during  the  war.  In  order  to 
avoid  conflict  because  of  this  use  of  the  same  company  letter  and  regimental 
number,  it  was  thought  best  to  keep  the  militia  regiments  separate  from  the  war 
regiments.  Accordingly,  the  local  company  became  Company  "G,"  Fifty-sixth 
regiment,  I.  N.  G.  Besides  their  war  service,  Company  "G  "was  twice  called  upon 
to  perform  guard  duty,  on  the  occasion  of  the  Pomeroy  cyclone,  and  during  the 
railroad  strike  at  Sioux  City.  The  present  officers  of  the  company  are:  Captain, 
Fred  R.  Frost;  first  lieutenant,  Hans  Frederickson ;  second  lieutenant,  James 
Barton.     The  enlisted  men  number  fifty-nine. 

Company  "F"  was  organized  in  Fort  Dodge,  when  the  company  of  the  same 
letter  was  mustered  out  at  Algona.  It  was  mustered  in  January  20,  1910.  At 
the  present  time  it  has  fifty-eight  enlisted  men ;  and  its  officers  are  :  Captain, 
H.  R.  Heath;  first  lieutenant,  R.  P.  Wakeman;  second  lieutenant,  T.  A.  Strand. 

The  armory  in  Fort  Dodge  was  built  in  1904,  and  is  equipped  with  a  g>'m- 
nasium,  swimming  pool  and  bowling  alley. 

In  1903,  Fort  Dodge  secured  the  regimental  band  of  the  Fifty-sixth  Regiment, 
Iowa  National  Guards.  This  organization  was  composed  of  members  from  a 
number  of  local  musical  organizations.  Under  the  leadership  of  Carl  Quist,  the 
band  reached  a  high  stage  of  efficiency,  and  soon  became  known  among  the 
musical  organizations  of  the  state.  For  five  years  they  played  at  the  Iowa  State 
Fair.  Three  times  they  were  the  official  band  at  the  head  camp  of  the  Modern 
Woodmen  of  America,  attending  the  encampments  at  Indianapolis,  St.  Louis  and 
Milwaukee.  They  were  the  official  band  of  the  Iowa  delegation  to  the  national 
convention  of  the  B.  P.  O.  E.  held  at  Detroit  in  19 10.  They  were  also  the  official 
band  for  American  Day  at  the  Dominion  Fair  in  Calgary,  Alberta,  during  1908; 
and  were  also  the  official  band  for  Iowa  Day  at  the  World's  Fair  at  St.  Louis. 
During  the  year  1910  the  band  was  mustered  out  of  the  service  of  the  militia, 
and  since  that  time  has  maintained  its  organization  under  the  name  of  the  Iowa 
Military  Band. 


CHAPTER  XII 
THE  MAYORS  OR  FORT  DODGE 

WILLIAM    WILLIAMS,     1869-7O GEORGE    I).    SHERMAN,     iS/I— HEZEKIAII     ISEECHER, 

1872 GEORGE     R.      PEARSONS,      1873,      1889-189O J.     O.      SLAUSON,      1874-5-6 

SAMUEL   REES,    1877— HENRY  A.    PLATT,    1878-9 THOMAS   SARGENT,    1880 S.    T. 

MESERVEY,    l88l-2,    1884 RICHARD   P.    FURLONG,    1S83 C.    L.    GRANGER,    1885-6, 

1893-4-5-6 — -CHARLES    G.    BLANDEN,    1887-S GEORGE    \V.    HYATT,    189I-2 E.    D. 

CLAGG,      1897-8 S.     J.     BENNETT,      1899-I9OO-OI -02,      I9O5-06,      I9O9-IO A.     H. 

NORTHRUP,   1903-04 — -CHARLES  F.  DUNCOMHE,    I907-08 JOHN   F.   FORD,    191I-I2. 

In  the  forty-three  years  since  Fort  Dodge  has  been  incorporated,  eighteen  of 
her  citizens  have  held  the  office  of  mayor.  I'ohtically  the  democrats  have  had 
the  advantage  in  the  numerous  mayoralty  contests.  While  these  contests  have 
often  been  spirited  ones,  yet  the  results  have  invariably  brought  honor  to  the 
town.  From  the  first  the  office  has  been  filled  by  men  of  marked  business  ability, 
and  the  roll  of  names  shows  those  of  our  most  prominent  citizens. 

WILLIAM     WILLIAIMS 1869-7O 

Major  William  Williams,  the  first  mayor  of  Fort  Dodge,  was  a  native  of 
Pennsylvania,  being  born  in  Westmoreland  county,  December  6,  1796.  He  came 
to  this  city  in  1850,  taking  the  place  of  sutler  for  the  United  States  troops  sta- 
tioned here.  On  the  removal  of  the  troops  in  1854.  Major  Williams  bought  the 
government  buildings  and  platted  the  town.  When  in  1857  news  came  of  the 
Indian  depredations  at  Spirit  Lake,  he  organized  and  commanded  the  expedition 
which  went  to  the  relief  of  the  settlers.  On  August  22,  1869,  by  order  of  the 
circuit  court  of  \\'ebster  county,  Major  Williams  and  four  others  were  appointed 
commissioners  to  call  an  election  and  to  do  all  things  necessary  for  the  incor- 
poration of  the  city  of  Fort  Dodge.  The  result  of  this  first  city  election,  held 
October  i,  1869,  was  to  give  the  mayoralty  honors  to  iNIajor  Williams  and  this 
office  he  held  until  1871.  His  age  and  feeble  health  compelled  Ala j or  Williams 
to  refuse  to  continue  in  the  office,  which  the  people  would  gladly  have  given 
him.  Full  of  years  and  honors,  this  pioneer  tradesman  and  founder  of  the  city 
died  at  his  home  in  Fort  Dodge,  February  26,  1874. 

GEORGE    B.    SHERMAN 187I 

The  second  mayor  of  Fort  Dodge,  George  B.  Sherman,  who  served  during 

the  year  1871.  was  born  in  P)ennington  county,  \^ermont,  June  7.  1833.     In  1855 
Td.  I— 1  ^ 

155 


156  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

he  came  to  Iowa  and  settled  in  this  city  during  April  of  that  year.  To  him  is 
given  credit  for  building  the  first  store  building  in  the  city.  The  hard  times  of 
1857,  however,  caused  a  temporary  suspension  of  the  business  until  i860,  when 
he  again  entered  the  business.  Three  years  later,  in  1863,  he  went  to  Washing- 
ton, District  of  Columbia,  to  occupy  a  position  in  the  office  of  the  first  comptroller 
of  the  currency.  While  in  Washington  he  attended  Columbia  Law  College, 
graduating  from  that  school  in  1866.  Returning  to  Fort  Dodge  he  opened  a  law: 
office,  and  for  a  number  of  years  practiced  his  profession.  He  died  December 
I,  1909. 

HEZEKIAH    BEECHER — lSj2 

Hezekiah  Beecher  was  mayor  of  Fort  Dodge  during  the  year  1872.  He  was 
born  in  New  Haven  county,  Connecticut,  in  the  year  1828.  By  profession  he 
was  a  lawyer,  graduating  from  the  law  department  of  Yale  in  1852.  After  leav- 
ing school  he  entered  the  law  office  of  G.  H.  HoUister,  at  Litchfield,  Connecticut. 
In  1855  '^^  removed  to  Fort  Dodge,  where  he  practiced  his  profession,  being  for 
a  time  associated  with  Hon.  John  F.  Duncombe.  ^Ir.  Beecher  and  his  family  in 
1866  removed  to  Redfield,  South  Dakota,  where  he  died  in  March  of  the  follow- 
ing year. 

GEORGE  R.    PEARSONS — 1873,    1889-9O 

George  R.  Pearsons,  the  pioneer  capitalist  and  landowner,  who  was  mayor 
of  Fort  Dodge  during  the  years  1873.  1889  and  1890.  was  born  in  Bradford, 
Vermont,  August  7,  1830,  and  died  in  this  city  July  14,  1906.  On  his  mother's 
side  he  was  descended  from  the  Putnam  family  of  Revolutionary  fame. 

The  early  life  of  Mr.  Pearsons  can  be  no  better  told  than  in  his  own  words, 
spoken  at  an  "old  home  week"  celebration  at  Bradford,  August  15,  1901. 
"Forty-nine  years  ago  ]\Iarch  20,  next,"  he  said,  'T  left  Bradford,  a  boy  of  twelve 
years  of  age.  I  had  up  to  that  time  received  certain  rudiments  in  school  life,  and 
various  whippings  from  my  teacher,  Maria  Baker.  Afterwards  attended  school 
until  I  was  seventeen  years  of  age,  when  my  father  sent  me  to  an  academy,  which 
I  made  use  of  to  the  best  of  my  ability.  The  ninth  week  the  teacher  told  me  I 
must  make  a  speech  at  the  close  of  the  term.  I  told  him  that  being  shot  was  a 
much  easier  road  for  me.  I  graduated  at  the  close  of  the  eleventh  week.  As 
the  Dutchman  says,  T  runned  away.'  That  closed  my  school  life.  Since  then  I 
have  spent  half  my  life  on  the  western  frontier,  three  years  of  this  among  the 
Indians.  Should  you  ask  me  to  talk  about  Indians,  my  tongue  would  run  like  a 
buzz-saw.  Were  I  talking  to  an  audience  in  the  west,  words  would  come  to  me 
in  the  western  dialect  you  bet." 

:\t  the  age  of  twenty-five,  -\Ir.  Pearsons  was  in  the  employ  of  the  \'ermont 
Central  at  Chatsworth.  Illinois,  selling  their  lands.  In  1868  he  came  to  Fort 
Dodge,  where  he  resided  until  his  death.  In  1885  ^^^  ^^^^  appointed  Indian  in- 
spector, serving  three  years.  His  work  in  this  department  was  most  efficient,  win- 
ning him  praise  from  both  the  department  of  the  interior  and  also  from  the 
Indians.  Abuses  which  had  existed  for  years  were  reformed,  and  the  system  of 
Indian  schools  was  entirely  reorganized.  Besides  his  service  to  Fort  Dodge  as 
mayor,  he  was  for  many  years  a  member  of  the  school  board. 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  157 

The  railroad  experience  gained  in  the  east  proved  valuable  to  Mr.  Pearsons 
in  the  west.  He  was  superintendent  and  had  entire  charge  of  the  construction 
work  on  the  Fort  Dodge  &  Fort  Ridgley  Railroad.  Although  his  unflagging 
energy  brought  him  to  a  sick-bed,  yet  laying  the  last  rails  on  the  snow  he  com- 
pleted the  road  a  few  hours  ahead  of  time.  Two  remarks  made  in  connection 
W'ith  the  building  of  this  road  are  characteristic  of  the  man.  In  referring  to  Air. 
S.  H.  Taft,  who  had  opposed  the  granting  of  aid  by  Humboldt  county  to  the  road, 
Mr.  Pearsons  said :  "I  don't  want  to  go  to  heaven  if  Mr.  Taft  is  going  to  be  there, 
for  I  have  fought  him  all  I  want  to  in  this  world,  and  I»  don't  want  to  carry  i^ 
into  the  next."  The  fight  over,  Air.  Pearsons  then  replied  to  the  warm  words  of 
welcome  of  Mr.  Taft,  "I  shake  hands  across  the  bloody  chasm." 

Besides  his  work  on  the  Fort  Ridgley  road,  he  was  interested  in  the  work  of 
grading  the  Iowa  Pacific,  a  line  to  be  built  from  Fort  Dodge  to  Belmond. 

Probably  the  work  which  brought  Mr.  Pearsons  the  most  in  the  public  eye 
was  the  draining  of  Owl  Lake  in  Humboldt  count/.  By  this  work  2,500  acres 
of  swamp  land  were  made  valuable  farming  lands.  To  do  this  it  was  necessary 
to  construct  a  ditch  nine  miles  long,  at  a  cost  of  $6,000. 

In  politics  Mr.  Pearsons  was  independent.  He  was  a  strong  supporter  of 
Mr.  Cleveland,  and  an  equally  strong  enthusiast  for  President  AIcKinley. 

No  man  ever  wrote  or  spoke  his  autobiography  in  a  more  trvithful  way  than 
did  Mr.  Pearsons  in  his  everyday  speeches.  In  response  to  the  question  whether 
he  knew  a  person,  his  invariable  reply  was,  "Know  him,  why  yes;  I  know  every- 
body, and  everybody  knows  me."    A  remark  practically  true, 

J.  o.  SLAusoN — -1874-5-6 

James  Oscar  Slauson  was  born  in  Lysander,  Onondaga  county.  New  York, 
on  July  I,  1828.  In  1851  he  was  married  to  Elvira  A.  Miner,  and  in  1854  they 
came  to  Dubuque  county  in  this  state  and  settled  on  a  farm.  From  1861  to  1864 
Mr.  Slauson  was  engaged  in  the  milling  business  in  Dyersville,  Iowa.  In  the 
spring  of  1868  he  moved  to  Fort  Dodge,  purchased  a  home,  and  operated  one  of 
the  first  lumber  yards  in  this  city.  In  those  days,  all  lumber  was  hauled  on 
wagons  either  from  Iowa  Falls  or  from  Boone,  the  nearest  railway  points,  to 
Fort  Dodge. 

His  first  service  as  a  public  official  in  Fort  Dodge  was  as  a  member  of  the 
school  board  about  1869  or  1870.  In  1874  he  was  elected  mayor  on  the  republi- 
can greenback  ticket,  and  served  for  three  years.  He  also  served  as  city  mar- 
shal during  the  year  1883. 

In  the  spring  of  1877  he  went  to  the  Black  Hills  and  engaged  in  mining.  He 
continued  this  business  for  four  successive  years,  spending  the  winters  in  Fort 
Dodge.  In  1881,  he  engaged  in  business  in  partnership  with  \ndrew  Hower, 
and  later  continued  in  business  alone.  In  1889  he  was  calleu  to  the  old  New 
York  home  to  administer  the  estate  of  his  eldest  brother.  Before  the  completion 
of  this  charge  he  died  very  suddenly,  on  May  22,  1892.  of  rheumatism  of  the 
heart. 

He  was  a  man  who  took  pride  in  the  fact  that  his  word  was  as  good  as  a 
bond.  No  man  ever  truthfully  said  that  J.  O.  Slauson  ever  failed  to  fulfill  an 
agreement.     Tall  and  perfectly  proportioned  physically,  he  was  a  man  of  great 


158  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

strength,   commanding   respect   and   admiration     This   with   his   high   character, 
and  quiet  unassuming  ways,  won  him  the  love  of  all  who  knew  him. 

SAMUEL    REES iSj/ 

One  of  the  representative  business  men  of  Fort  Dodge  was  Samuel  Rees, 
who  came  to  this  city  at  the  opening  of  the  United  States  land  office,  to  represent 
the  real  estate  firm  of  Hoyt,  Sherman  &  Company  of  Des  ]\Ioines.  The  first 
lot  sold  in  Fort  Dodge  was  lot  3,  block  9,  the  deed  being  conveyed  to  Hoyt 
Sherman.  Early  in  1858,  Mr.  Rees  was  doing  business  under  the  firm  name  of 
Samuel  Rees  &  Company.  Three  years  later  he  engaged  in  the  mercantile  busi- 
ness, and  then  in  1862  formed  a  partnership  with  Angus  INIcBane  and  \V.  M. 
Marlett,  engaging  in  general  merchandise,  banking  and  real  estate.  After  three 
or  four  years  the  general  merchandise  line  was  dropped,  and  later  IMarlett  with- 
drew. About  three  or  four  years  after  the  withdrawal  of  Marlett,  a  new  part- 
ner was  taken  in,  and  the  firm  name  then  became  Rees,  jMcBane  &  Grant. 
After  1870,  Mr.  Rees  was  alone  in  the  real  estate  and  insurance  business. 

Mr.  Rees  was  born  in  Hamilton  county,  Ohio,  November  7,  1817.  When  a 
lad  of  fourteen  he  entered  the  wholesale  store  of  Avery,  Sharpless  &  Company 
in  Cincinnati.  After  several  years  poor  health  caused  him  to  start  for  Cali- 
fornia. But  when  he  reached  Des  Moines  the  stories  of  Indian  troubles  on  the 
plains  decided  him  to  locate  in  Iowa.  In  politics  he  was  a  democrat.  During 
the  Civil  war  he  was  a  strong  Union  supporter.  Always  identified  with  the 
politics  of  the  state,  he  was  a  zealous  worker  for  his  party.  In  1857  he  was 
elected  judge  of  Webster  county,  serving  with  marked  ability.  For  personal 
reasons  he  refused  reelection.  He  served  during  the  Iowa  legislative  session  of 
i860,  the  special  session  of  1861  and  in  1867  and  1876.  He  was  elected  mayor  in 
1877.     In  1 891  he  removed  to  Omaha,  wdiere  he  died  April  23,  1897. 

HENRY    A.    PLATT 1 878-9 

Twelve  years  of  city  office,  ten  as  councilman  and  two  as  mayor,  is  the  record 
of  Henry  A.  Piatt,  who  was  mayor  of  Fort  Dodge  during  1878-9.  Mr.  Piatt  was 
born  in  Albany,  ^New  York,  June  9,  1841,  and  came  to  this  city  in  1858.  He  was 
one  of  the  pioneer  brickmakers  of  this  city,  running  a  kiln  in  an  early  day  on  the 
west  side  of  the  Des  Moines  river,  below  the  old  Bradshaw  plant.  On  the  break- 
ing out  of  the  Civil  war,  he  with  many  others  from  this  county  enlisted  in  the 
Eleventh  Pennsylvania  Cavalry  and  served  three  years.  On  his  return,  he  was 
for  a  short  time  clerk  in  the  postoffice,  and  then  was  express  messenger  on  a 
stage  running  from  Fort  Dodge  to  Sioux  City.  With  the  coming  of  Andrew 
Johnson  to  the  presidency,  Mr.  Piatt  was  appointed  postmaster,  receiving  his 
commission  October  i,  1866,  the  next  day  after  his  marriage.  After  serving  his 
term  as  postmaster,  ]\Ir.  Piatt  engaged  in  the  grocery  business. 

THOMAS    SARGENT — 1880 

Thomas  Sargent,  who  filled  the  office  of  mayor  during  the  year  1880.  came 
to   hort  Dodge  in    1855   from   Pennsylvania,  wiiere  he  was  born  July   H^.   1819, 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  159 

and  took  a  pre-emption  on  the  South  Lizard.    This  farm  he  owned  until  his  death, 
which  occurred  in  this  city  January  9,  1891. 

Mr.  Sargent  first  held  the  position  of  receiver  of  public  money  in  the  United 
States  land  office.  At  the  discontinuance  of  the  otifice  he  engaged  in  the  real 
estate  business.  At  a  time  when  grafters  filled  the  ofiices,  and  a  steal  from  the 
government  was  no  crime,  Thomas  Sargent  remained  absolutely  straight  in  all 
his  transactions.  Pie  was  an  intensely  democratic  partisan,  yet  his  interest  in 
politics  was  always  live,  sane  and  modern.  He  gained  the  appellation  of  '"Black 
Tom,"'  on  account  of  his  swarthy  complexion  and  tall  commanding  figure,  al- 
ways seen  in  the  lead  at  democratic  gatherings. 

Many  old  settlers  well  remember  the  time  when  A.  N.  Botsford  and  Thomas 
Sargent  headed  the  escort  that  went  out  one  day  to  meet  a  democratic  delegation 
from  the  North  Eizard  country.  It  was  a  day  long  to  be  remembered  in  dcmo-- 
cratic  annals.  The  delegation  from  the  "up  country''  was  led  by  Isaac  Williams, 
who  brought  the  band  in  his  rig.  The  band  wagon  itself  consisted  of  an  old 
farm  wagon,  and  the  team  which  drew  the  same  was  a  team  of  mules,  one  yellow 
and  one  white.  "The  band"  consisted  of  three  charming  young  ladies  dressed 
one  in  red,  one  in  white  and  the  third  in  blue.  To  the  strains  of  the  "Red,  \\'hite 
and  Blue,''  sung  1)}-  the  young  ladies,  the  North  Lizard  people  met  their  [^\)rt 
Dodge  escort. 

S.    T.    MESERVEY— 1881-2,    18S4 

Stillman  T.  Meservey,  a  boy  of  six  years,  came  with  his  parents  to  Wel)ster 
county,  from  Illinois,  where  he  was  born  December  17,  1848.  Since  that  time 
practically  all  his  life  has  been  spent  here.  No  man  is  more  familiar  with  the 
industrial  growth  of  this  county  than  S.  T.  Meservey.  Nor  has  his  entire  time 
been  devoted  to  commercial  pursuits.  An  ardent  advocate  of  republican  prin- 
ciples, he  has  served  his  county  in  the  state  legislature  in  the  sessions  of  1885 
and  1901,  and  his  city  as  a  member  of  the  coiuicil  and  as  mayor.  The  latter  office 
he  held  in  1881-2  and  again  in  1884.  His  genial  ways  added  to  his  executive  and 
business  ability,  has  given  him  a  wide  acquaintance  of  friends,  to  all  of  whom  he 
is  familiarly  known  as  "Still."  The  development  of  the  gypsum  industry  is 
largely  due  to  him,  and  at  the  present  time  he  still  holds  a  responsible  position 
with  the  United  States  Gypsum  Company.  A  builder  of  gas  and  electric  light 
plants  for  this  cit}',  he  also  promoted  street  railways,  interurbans  and  steam 
roads.  In  his  promotion  of  transportation  lines  his  one  aim  has  always  l:>ccn  to 
center  them  in  Fort  Dodee. 


'fc>^ 


RICHARD    P.    FURLOXG ^1883 

Richard  Powers  Furlong,  was  born  in  Jefferson,  Lincoln  county,  Maine.  Jan- 
uary 4,  1828,  and  died  in  Fort  Dodge,  December  i6,  1891.  His  youth  and  early 
manhood  were  spent  in  his  native  state.  In  1854  he  went  to  Chicago,  and  after  a 
short  stay  came  to  W'ebster  county  and  engaged  in  the  mercantile  business  in 
which  he  continued  up  to  the  time  of  his  death.  His  former  business  is  now 
carried  on  under  the  firm  name  of  Furlong  &  Brennan,  and  known  as  the  "square" 
dealers  in  general  merchandis.e.     Fie  was  mayor  of  the  city  during  the  year  1883. 


160  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

C.   L.   GRANGER — 1 885-6,    1 893-4-5-6 

For  the  six  years  of  1885-6,  1893-4-5-6  the  office  of  mayor  was  filled  by  C. 
L.  Granger,  one  of  the  leading-  implement  dealers  of  the  city  and  state.  The 
organizer  of  the  Granger  Implement  Company,  he  was  later  one  of  the  partners 
of  the  firm  of  Granger  &  Mitchell,  now  the  Granger  Implement  Company.  He 
was  also  one  of  the  organizers  and  stockholders  of  the  Cardifif  Gypsum  Com- 
pany. Air.  Granger  was  born  at  Mt.  Clemens,  Michigan.  February  11,  1850. 
While  still  a  young  man  he  became  associated  with  the  ]\IcCormick  company  and 
continued  in  their  employ  as  general  agent  in  several  different  states  until  he 
came  to  Fort  Dodge  in  December,  1879.  He  was  a  typical  self-made  man,  and 
his  success  was  due  to  energy  and  ability.  Compelled  because  of  ill  health  to  go 
to  Chicago  for  medical  treatment,  he  there  underwent  an  operation,  and  died  at 
Passavant  Hospital  April  6,  1900. 

CHARLES    G.    BLANDEX 1887-8 

The  "Baby  ]\Iayor"'  of  Fort  Dodge  was  a  name  given  to  Charles  G.  Blanden, 
who  held  the  office  during  1887-8.  He  was  born  in  ]\Iarengo,  Illinois,  in  1857 
and  came  to  Fort  Dodge  in  1874.  For  fifteen  years  he  was  connected  with  the 
First  National  Bank  as  teller,  assistant  cashier  and  cashier.  He  left  this  city  in 
1890,  going  to  Chicago,  where  he  has  since  resided.  At  present  he  is  secretary 
and  manager  of  the  Rialto  Company.  Politically  Mr.  Blanden  was  of  the  repub- 
lican faith.  He  acted  as  chairman  of  the  republican  county  central  committee, 
managing  their  campaign  during  the  year  1888. 

Since  his  residence  in  Chicago  he  has  gained  considerable  reputation  as  a 
literary  man.  Many  of  his  verses  and  sketches  have  appeared  in  Chicago  papers 
and  magazines,  being  a  regular  contributor  to  the^hicago  Post. 

GEORGE  W.    HYATT 189I-2 

George  W.  Hyatt  was  born  September  28,  1835,  in  Muskingum  county,  Ohio, 
the  state  of  great  men.  His  early  life  was  spent  in  Ohio  and  Wisconsin,  v/here 
he  worked  at  his  trade  of  stonecutter.  He  came  to  Fort  Dodge  in  1867,  and 
worked  at  his  trade  for  two  years,  and  then  engaged  in  quarrying  and  con- 
tract work  until  1879.  Mr.  Hyatt  was  a  democrat,  and  for  a  number  of  years 
did  loyal  work  for  his  party  as  a  member  of  the  state  central  committee.  In 
1879  he  was  elected  sheriff  of  Webster  county  by  the  democrats  and  greenbacks. 
At  the  next  election  he  was  renominated  but  failed  of  election  by  a  small  margin, 
although  he  ran  ahead  of  his  ticket.  In  1883  he  was  elected  to  the  office  of  jus- 
tice of  the  peace  for  Wahkonsa  township,  which  office  he  held  for  a  number  of 
years.  His  election  as  mayor  occurred  in  1891,  and  he  filled  the  office  for  two 
years.  He  also  held  the  office  of  deputy  United  States  marshal,  and  later  that 
of  oil  inspector.    His  death  occurred  at  his  home  in  this  city  October  7,  1906. 

E.  D.   CLAGG 1897-8 

Earl  D.  Clagg  was  mayor  of  Fort  Dodge  during  the  years  1897  and  1898.  He 
also  served  in  the  council  two  years  prior  to  assuming  the  office  of  mayor.     Be- 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  161 

sides  this  he  was  a  member  of  the  school  board  for  one  term.  In  politics  he 
has  always  been  of  the  republican  faith.  He  was  born  in  Tama  City,  Iowa, 
January  31,  1867,  and  when  two  years  of  age  came  with  his  parents  to  this  city. 
In  1882  the  Claggs  removed  to  Sioux  City,  but  returned  again  in  the  year  1890. 
On  their  return  E.  D.  and  his  brother,  William,  conducted  the  branch  hide  house 
of  H.  j\I.  Hosick  &,Company,  of  Chicago,  located  in  this  city.  Four  years  later 
E.  D.  Clagg  bought  out  the  local  branch,  and  since  that  time  has  built  up  a  splen- 
did business. 

S.    J.    BENNETT 1899-I9OO-OI-O2,    I905-06,    I909-IO 

Captain  S.  J.  Bennett  came  to  this  city  from  Boone  in  January,  1870,  and 
ever  since  his  arrival  has  been  closely  identified  with  all  the  activities  of  the  city. 

Born  in  Orleans  county.  New  York,  he  came  west  when  a  young  man,  spend- 
ing some  time  in  Ohio  and  Illinois,  and  finally  locating  in  St  Louis,  where  he 
remained  until  the  breaking  out  of  the  Civil  war.  His  war  service  covered  a 
period  of  four  years  and  nine  months.  He  first  enlisted  in  the  Twenty-third 
Missouri  Infantry,  and  later  in  Company  A,  Twelfth  Missouri  Cavalry,  of  which 
he  was  captain.  At  the  close  of  the  war,  the  brigades  of  which  Captain  Bennett's 
troops  formed  a  part,  were  sent  against  the  Indians,  who  were  committing  dep- 
redations in  Wyoming.  The  winter  of  1865-6  was  spent  at  Fort  Laramie,  and 
in  April,  1866,  Captain  Bennett  was  mustered  out  ^t  Fort  Leavenworth.  Soon 
after  this  the  surveyor  general  of  Kansas  appointed  him  to  conduct  a  survey  of 
the  Solomon  river  region.  This  occupied  the  summer  of  1866.  Failing  by  two 
days  to  secure  a  contract  for  the  survey  of  No  Man's  Land,  Captain  Bennett 
gave  up  surveying.  Having  married  at  Lawrence,  Kansas,  he  soon  went  to 
Boone,  Iowa,  and  later  removed  to  this  city. 

For  a  number  of  years,  Captain  Bennett  engaged  in  the  tobacco  business  in 
Fort  Dodge.  Then  in  1884,  he  w^ent  west  to  assist  his  brother.  Nelson  Bennett, 
who  was  doing  construction  work  on  the  Northern  Pacific,  then  being  built 
through  the  mountains  of  Montana.  No  sooner  did  he  arrive  on  the  scene  of 
operations,  than  Nelson  Bennett  was  compelled  to  leave  for  New  York  City,  and 
the  entire  responsibility  of  the  work  was  thrown  upon  his  brother.  Although 
new  to  the  work,  yet  he  completed  it  satisfactorily  and  then  assumed  the  super- 
intendency  of  the  construction  of  the  Stampede  tunnel  through  the  Cascade 
range,  a  contract  which  his  brother  had  secured  in  the  east.  The  work  was 
more  difficult,  with  its  approaches,  two  and  one-half  miles  in  length,  yet  Captain 
Bennett  completed  it  five  days  ahead  of  time,  thus  saving  a  heavy  penalty  Lat-'r 
he  superintended  the  construction  of  still  another  tunnel  west  of  the  Cascades. 

His  railway  construction  work  completed,  he  became  interested  in  real  estate 
in  Tacoma  and  Portland,  and  was  for  a  time  first  vice-president  of  the  Tacoma 
street  railway. 

In  politics  Air  Bennett  was  a  republican.  He  served  four  years  in  the  city 
council  in  1885-6  and  1895-6,  and  was  four  times  elected  mayor  in  1889.  1901, 
1905,  1909.  He  was  a  member  of  the  Webster  county  board  of  supervisors  in 
1878,  serving  until  April,  1884,  when  he  resigned  to  go  west.  Again  in  1898  he 
was  appointed  to  fill  the  vacancy  caused  by  the  death  of  Mr.  Julius  and  served  un- 
til 1901.    During  this  period  he  was  chairman  of  the  board  and  most  instrumental 


1&2  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

in  the  building  of  the  present  court  house.  The  great  executive  abiUty  of  the 
ofificer  and  the  geniahty  of  the  man  are  well  marked  by  two  acts  closing  his  term 
as  mayor,  that  of  the  consummation  of  the  plans  for  the  Farley  street  viaduct, 
and  the  passage  of  the  joke  marriage  ordinance. 

In  1909  Air.  Bennett  was  again  elected  mayor,  serving  for  a  term  of  tvvO 
years;  at  the  close  of  the  term  he  was  talked  of  for  reelection,  but  on  account 
of  ill  health  it  was  not  deemed  advisable  for  him  to  again  enter  the  race.  iNIr. 
Bennett  died  at  his  home  in  Fort  Dodge,  Alay  24,  191 1. 

A.    H.    NORTHRUP 1903-4 

A.  H.  Xorthrup  was  born  in  Ogdensburg,  N.  Y.,  January  22,  1857.  Follow- 
ing Greeley's  advice,  he  came  in  1877  to  Alinneapolis,  where  he  worked  for  the 
M.  &  St.  L  Railroad  as  hreman  and  engineer.  With  the  building  of  the  road 
into  Fort  Dodge,  he  became  a  resident  of  this  city  and  has  ever  since  been  rec- 
ognized as  one  of  its  safe,  conservative  citizens.  He  served  in  the  city  council 
for  eight  years,  1888-91  and  1898-1901,  being  elected  twice  from  the  Third  ward, 
and  twice  from  the  Second  ward.  While  on  the  coimcil  he  served  on  the  claims, 
and  streets  and  alleys  committees.    In  politics  he  has  been  a  democrat. 

CHARLES   F.  DUXCOMBE 1907-08 

Charles  F.  Dtmcombe  served  the  city  as  mayor  during  the  years  1907-08. 
He  is  the  grandson  of  the  first  mayor.  Like  his  grandfather,  who  was  the  first 
postmaster,  he  also  held  the  office  of  postmaster,  serving  during  the  years  1894- 
98.  Although  in  politics  Air.  Duncombe  has  always  been  a  democrat,  yet  his 
election  as  mayor  was  due  to  a  non-partisan  movement.  At  present  he  is  also 
a  member  of  the  school  board. 

Charles  F.  Duncombe  was  born  in  Fort  Dodge,  Febrttary  20,  1864.  He 
attended  school  at  Racine  College,  Racine,  Wisconsin,  and  later  at  the  L'niver- 
sity  of  Iowa.  He  intended  to  become  a  lawyer,  but  before  he  could  finish  his 
course,  he  was  compelled  by  ill  health  to  give  up  his  school  work  He  then 
began  work  as  reporter  on  the  Fort  Dodge  Chronicle,  then  a  weekly.  On  May  6. 
1884,  he  changed  the  paper  to  a  daily.  Having  acquired  the  ownership  of  the 
paper  he  retained  it  until  1887,  when  he  sold  one-half  interest  to  his  brother, 
W.  E.  Duncombe.  He  then  went  to  St.  Paul,  and  with  two  others  started  the 
St.  Paul  News.  This  he  sold  in  1890  and  returned  to  Fort  Dodge  to  take  charge 
of  the  Duncombe  Stucco  Company  plaster  mills.  The  mills  being  sold  to  the 
United  States  Gypsum  Company  on  February  i,  1901,  Mr  Duncombe  became 
district  manager  for  the  latter,  which  position  he  held  until  November,  1903. 
In  all  he  was  connected  with  the  gypsum  l)usiness  fourteen  years. 

Mr.  Duncombe  on  leaving  the  gypsum  business  purchased  complete  control 
of  the  Chronicle,  and  has  since  devoted  his  entire  time  to  newspaper  work. 
Wliile  circumstances  compelled  him  to  take  up  the  work  against  his  wish,  vet 
it  has  been  the  one  work  which  he  has  liked  best. 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  163 

JOIiX    F.    FORD 191  I- 1 2 

John  F.  Ford  Nvas  born  in  Fort  Dodge,  Iowa,  November  25,  1864.  When 
six  years  of  age,  he  with  his  parents  moved  onto  a  farm  in  Jackson  township. 
Part  of  this  farm  was  in  Webster  county,  and  part  in  Lizard  township,  Poca- 
hontas county.  Here  he  Hved  for  twenty-one  years,  when  he  returned  to  Fort 
Dodge,  which  has  been  his  home  ever  since.  During  the  time  that  he  lived  on 
the  farm,  ]\Ir.  Ford  taught  district  school  during  the  winter  monthe  for  ten 
years.  In  1893,  he  was  appointed  deputy  auditor  under  T.  A.  Cunningham,  serv- 
ing six  years.  At  the  end  of  that  time  he  was  himself  elected  auditor  and  served 
■six  years.  He  then  became  interested  in  the  business  of  the  Berryhill  Com- 
panv,  books  and  stationery  and  news  stand.  In  ]\Iarch,  191 1,  when  the  city 
of  Fort  Dodge  adopted  the  commission  form  of  government  Mr.  Ford  became 
a  candidate  for  the  ofifice  of  mayor,  and  at  the  election  received  a  majority  of 
the  votes,  thus  becoming  the  first  mayor  under  the  new  form  of  government. 


CHAPTER  XIII 
EARLY  TRADES  AND  TRADERS 

MAJOR    WILLIAMS'    STORE — FREIGHTING    IN    AN    EARLY   DAY — UNITED   STATES    LAND 

OFFICE      OPENED WAR      TIMES A      SHOEMAKER      POET ARNOLD'S       MILL THE 

"COLBURN     vein" GYPSUM     AS     A     BUILDING     STONE "jACK-OF-ALL-TRADES" 

THE  PIONEER   NURSERYMAN. 

The  first  store  in  Fort  Dodge  was  opened  in  1855.  Since  that  time  the  mer- 
cantile Hfe  of  the  city  has  grown  until  now  there  are  over  one  hundred  and  fifty 
retail  stores  alone,  to  say  nothing  of  the  wholesale  establishments  and  manu- 
facturing plants. 

In  the  early  spring  of  1855,  Major  William  Williams,  who  was  at  that  time 
sutler  to  the  United  States  troops  stationed  at  Fort  Dodge,  came  to  the  fort 
and  opened  a  grocery  store  in  the  block  just  west  of  where  the  Wahkonsa  school 
now  stands.  His  first  clerk  was  George  B.  Sherman,  who  began  working  for 
him  April  loth  and  continued  in  his  employ  for  three  months.  Mr.  Sherman 
then  began  to  build  a  store  for  himself.  James  B.  Williams  also  helped  in  his 
father's  store,  and  when  his  father  was  appointed  postmaster,  took  entire  charge 
of  the  store.  Later  he  was  associated  in  business  with  John  Lemp.  When  the 
Civil  war  broke  out,  the  young  storekeeper,  James  B.  Williams,  answered  the 
call  for  volunteers,  and  became  first  sergeant  of  Company  I  of  the  Thirty- 
second  Iowa  A'olunteer  Infantry.  When  he  returned  home  after  the  war,  how- 
ever, he  did  not  return  to  the  mercantile  business,  but  opened  the  first  abstract 
office  in  Fort  Dodge  and  continued  in  this  work  until  his  death. 

The  stock  of  the  first  store  was  by  no  means  an  exclusive  grocery  stock, 
but  was  made  up  of  a  general  merchandise  stock.  In  addition  to  the  staple 
provisions,  there  was  calico,  muslin  and  denim  cloth  for  clothing,  a  few  tools 
and  hardware,  some  household  utensils,  and  a  little  patent  medicine.  There  was 
generally,  too,  something  kept  for  "snake  bites.''  There  was  but  little  ready- 
made  clothing. 

There  were  no  clubs  to  go  to  in  those  days,  so  the  thrifty  housewife  made 
not  only  her  own  clothing,  but  those  of  the  family.  Some  even  wove  their  own 
cloth  and  spun  the  yarn  of  making  the  stockings  and  mittens.  Fur  used  for 
caps  and  other  articles  of  apparel  was  procured  by  trapping,  for  the  woods 
were  full  of  small  fur-bearing  animals.  Beaver,  otter,  coon,  fox  and  muskrat 
were  found  in  abundance,  while  deer,  bear  and  wolf  were  not  uncommon.  All 
the  merchandise  kept  in  stock  was  freighted  from  Keokuk,  which  was  at  that 
time  the  nearest  railroad  point.  The  freight  was  three  cents  a  pound,  and  there 
was  no   interstate  commerce   commission   to   adjust   rates.     When   to   this   was 

165 


166  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

added  the  railroad  charges,  even  the  staple  articles  of  iood  Iiecame  expensive, 
and  necessities  became  luxuries. 

The  nearest  grist  mills  where  flour  and  meal  could  be  obtained  were  Oskaloosa 
and  Des  Moines.  A  trip  to  the  mill  took  two  weeks  under  the  most  favorable 
circumstances.  In  bad  weather  the  time  was  even  longer.  During  the  severe 
winters  of  1855  and  1856,  when  going  to  the  mill  was  well  n'igh  impossible,  and 
the  cold  piercing  v^'inds  and  drifting  snow  prevented  even  the  most  courageous 
from  venturing  an}'  distance  from  home,  the  old  coffee  mill  on  the  shelf  was 
made  to  do  double  dut3\  The  corn  for  johnny  cake  and  corn  pone  was  shelled 
and  ground  in  the  old  mill.  Corn  was  ground  not  only  for  meal,  but  rt)asted 
and  then  ground,  it  made  a  substitute  for  coffee.  This  coft'ee  substitute  was 
used  not  on  account  of  the  deleterious  eft'ects  of  the  genuine,  but  because  the 
real  article  was  a  luxury,  not  to  be  used  every  day.  Thus  the  old  mil!  played 
an  important  part  in  the  pioneer  household. 

One  of  the  pioneers  in  speaking  of  those  early  days  said,  "There  wasn't 
much  style  put  on  in  those  days.  Comfort  took  its  place.  There  were  no  fancy 
fixings  like  bouillon,  salads  and  ices.  A  few  slices  of  steak  from  a  saddle  of 
vension  fried  in  the  fireplace,  some  hot  cornbread,  some  molasses  from  the 
jug  vmder  the  kitchen  table,  some  corn  coft'ee  piping  hot,  sufficed  our  needs. 
With  such  a  meal,  we  soon  forgot  the  fatigue  of  the  day's  hard  work.  It  cost 
$9.00  to  have  a  barrel  of  salt  hauled  from  Keokuk  to  Fort  Dodge.  This  made 
it  necessary  to  retail  it  at  five  cents  a  pound  in  order  to  come  out  even.  Sugar 
sold  at  eight  pounds  for  the  dollar,  and  there  was  no  shopping  around  to  get 
nine.  Even  green  coft'ee  cost  thirty  cents  a  pound.  This  we  took  home  and 
roasted  before  grinding.  There  was  no  'grind  it  please'  request  to  the  grocer 
in  those  days.  We  were  glad  enough  to  get  it  green.  .And  there  was  no  co- 
operative delivery  either.  When  the  molasses  jug  was  empty  we  took  it  to  the 
store  ourselves  to  get  it  filled.  We  usually  had  a  ])iece  of  stout  cord,  or  rope 
run  through  the  handle  of  the  jug,  and  thus  we  carried  it  suspended  from  the 
shoulder ;  sometimes  we  poked  a  stout  stick  through  the  handle  and  carried  it 
over  our  shoulder.  Flour  cost  $10.00  a  sack,  and  not  guaranteed  at  that.  Corn 
meal  sold  at  $1.50  a  hundred  pounds." 

After  George  B.  Sherman  left  the  employ  of  Major  Williams,  he  and  X.  B. 
Morrison  formed  a  partnership,  and  erected  a  store  building  ior  their  use.  This 
was  the  first  store  building  after  the  town  was  laid  out.  It  was  finished  in  the 
fall  of  1855.  1'he  work  of  getting  out  the  logs  and  hauling  them  to  the  water- 
mill  was  begun  in  the  month  of  August.  The  soldiers  at  the  f«^rt  bad  ])rought 
with  them  sufficient  machiner}-  to  ecjuip  a  small  sawmill.  With  the  river  to 
supply  the  power,  ([uite  a  quantity  of  lumber  was  sawed  for  Iniildings.  The 
store  was  completed  in  November,  1855,  and  in  December  of  the  same  year,  the 
firm  of  Sherman  &  ^Morrison  began  business.  They  had  a  general  merchandise 
stock  which  would  j^robably  have  invoiced  at  $1,500. 

The  next  firm  to  go  into  business  was  Dawley  &  \\'oodbury  in  1856.  They 
occupied  the  first  brick  store  ever  built  in  Fort  Dodge.  This  building  was  built 
by  Morgan  and  Beers  and  stood  on  Sixth  street  back  of  the  present  (jarmoe 
block.  However,  this  did  not  prove  a  successful  venture ;  and  in  the  fall  of 
1857,  Ab  Taylor  purchased  the  stock,  and  continued  the  business  as  a  general 
merchandise  store. 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTI'.R  COUNT^'  167 

While  not  an  early  storekeeper,  yet  in  the  mercantile  life  of  the  city,  D. 
\V.  Pr indie  played  an  important  part.  Coming  to  Fort  Dodge  in  1854,  he  helped 
to  bnild  the  first  store  building.  He  then  engaged  in  the  business  of  freighting, 
hauling  goods  from  Muscatine  and  other  railroad  points  until  1857.  In  that 
year,  he  married  and  moved  to  a  farm  four  miles  northwest  of  town.  Often 
the  receiver  of  public  money,  carrying  the  money  from  the  government  land 
office,  rode  with  Mr.  Prindle  on  his  trips.  In  1874  Mr.  Prindle  returned  to 
P^ort  Dodge,  and  engaged  in  the  grain  business,  as  the  successor  to  Colonel 
Leander  P>landen.  .\nother  early  "freighter"  was  John  J.  Burns,  Sr.,  who  hauled 
the  first  load  of  freight  from  Iowa  City  to  Fort  Dodge. 

The  Prusia  hardware  store  was  the  earliest  of  its  kind.  In  1855  E.  E. 
r*rusia  came  to  Fort  Dodge,  and  in  partnership  with  his  step-father,  George 
Klinedob,  started  a  tin  shop  in  a  little  slab  shanty  on  Williams  street.  Mr. 
Klinedob  died  in  1865,  and  Mr.  Prusia  continued  the  business  for  many  years. 
Then  he,  too,  gave  up  an  active  control  of  the  business,  removing  to  California, 
where  he  still  lives.  The  business  is  today -the  oldest  and  largest  wholesale 
and  retail  hardware  business  in  the  city. 

Two  new  mercantile  establishments  were  added  to  Fort  Dodge  in  1856. 
John  Haire  started  a  grocery  store,  which  he  ran  for  several  years,  later  going 
into  the  clothing  business.  The  same  year,  Charles  Rank  opened  up  the  first 
bakerv,  on  the  site  of  what  is  now  the  interurban  station.  This  he  conducted 
for  four  years.  Later  he  engaged  in  the  dry  goods  business,  and  still  later  went 
into  the  shoe  business.  .  Though  of  later  date,  Jacob  Schmoll  may  also  be.  classed 
among  the  pioneer  bakers.  Mr.  Schmoll  started  a  bakery  in  the  building  now 
used  by  the  Conway  cigar  store. 

The  first  drtig  store  was  in  a  building  on  the  site  of  Frank  Gates  &  Son 
dry  goods  store  and  was  run  by  James  Swain.  Later  he  moved  to  a  building 
that  stood  where  the  Fort  Dodge  National  Bank  now  stands.  Mr.  O.  M. 
Oleson,  when  he  first  came  to  P"ort  Dodge,  worked  for  Mr.  Swain. 

The  original  town  as  laid  out  and  platted  by  Major  Williams  was  not  finally 
brought  into  market  until  1855.  In  the  meantime  a  postoffice  had  been  estab- 
lished here,  and  at  the  session  of  congress  in  1854-5,  the  public  land  depart- 
ment in  Iowa  had  been  reorganized  and  two  new  land  offices,  at  Fort  Dodge 
and  Sioux  City,  had  been  established.  In  the  summer  of  1855  immigration  into 
this  section  of  the  state  was  quite  active;  and  during  the  summer  of  1856  was 
still  more  so.  Quite  a  number  of  young  men  seeking  a  place  to  establish  them- 
selves in  business  came  to  Fort  Dodge,  and  several  persons  wnth  families  also 
bought  lots  and  commenced  building;  so  that  by  the  fall  of  1856,  it  began  to 
take  on  the  appearance  of  a  thriving  western  village.  The  fact  of  the  estab- 
lishment of  a  United  States  land  office  at  this  place,  in  addition  to  the  man}' 
nattiral  resources  of  the  surrounding  country,  induced  quite  a  number  of  per- 
sons to  settle  here  with  the  purpose  of  going  into  the  real  estate  business.  The 
beauty  and  fertility  of  the  new  country  is  well  told  by  Major  Williams  in  his 
notes  on  its  early  history,  which  he  left  at  his  death.  He  says :  "We  arrived  at 
the  point  designated  on  the  23d  of  Atigust,  1850.  (Referring  to  the  arrival 
of  the  troops  of  which  he  was  the  post  trader.)  The  officers  and  men  of  the 
detachment  had  served  through  the  Mexican  war,  and  many  of  them  in  the 
Seminole   and   Florida   wars,    and    from    what   they    had   heard   of    the   country 


168  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

they  were  to  be  stationed  in,  they  expected  to  find  a  region  similar  to  Florida ; 
covered  with  lakes,  ponds,  swamps  and  destitute  of  timber;  but  they  were 
agreeably  disappointed.  All  were  highly  pleased  with  the  location.  The  fine 
groves  of  timber,  above  and  below,  the  pure  springs  of  water  and  rippling 
streams,  together  with  the  appearance  of  coal,  gypsum  and  other  minerals ; 
the  building  stone  and  enchanting  scenery,  caused  all  to  pronounce  it  the  most 
beautiful  part  of  Iowa  they  had  ever  seen.  When  the  plans  for  building  quar- 
ters, and  arrangement  of  the  buildings  were  under  consideration,  it  was  deter- 
mined to  build  convenient  as  possible  to  the  fine  spring  of  water,  and  where 
they  would  be  sheltered  from  the  northwest  winds  by  the  timber.  It  was  the 
opinion  of  all  the  officers  at  that  time,  that  owing  to  the  beauty  of  the  loca- 
tion, and  the  resources  of  the  country,  at  no  distant  day  a  town  of  some  import- 
ance would  be  built  on  the  site." 

In  May,  1856,  the  county  seat  was  moved  from  Homer  to  Fort  Dodge. 
This  removal  brought  with  it  several  county  officers  who  became  permanent 
citizens  of  the  town.  Among  them  was  the  county  judge,  Hon.  Wni.  N.  Mer- 
servey,  who  up  to  his  death,  in  all  the  enterprises  of  the  town  was  an  active 
participant.  But  many  things  tended,  in  the  early  history  of  Fort  Dodge,  to 
retard  its  growth.  Soon  after  the  resources  of  the  country  began  to  be  under- 
stood abroad  the  financial  crisis  of  1857  produced  business  stagnation  through- 
out the  entire  country.  It  was  especially  severe  in  its  effects  in  a  new  country 
where  there  was  no  accumulated  capital  and  where  the  people  were  all  poor. 
It  had  its  natural  effects  on  Fort  Dodge.  The  town  had  scarcely  began  to 
recover  from  the  effects  of  the  business  disaster  of  1857,  before  the  Civil  war 
was  upon  the  country.  This  necessarily  turned  back  the  dial  of  material  growth 
another  four  years.  Almost  every  able  young  man  in  the  town  joined  the  army. 
From  the  meagre  population  of  Fort  Dodge  and  Webster  county,  two  com- 
panies were  recruited.  Company  "A"  of  the  Eleventh  Pennsylvania  Cavalry; 
and  Company  "I"  of  the  Thirty-second  Iowa  Volunteer  Infantry. 

Besides  these  two  companies,  quite  a  nvunber  of  young  men  were  enlisted  in 
other  regiments ;  so  that  the  town  remained  almost  stationary  in  respect  to  mate- 
rial progress,  until  the  close  of  the  war.  Another  thing  which  seriously  affected 
the  growth  of  the  town  for  some  years  were  the  land  grants.  Although  they 
probably  hastened  the  building  of  railroads,  yet  the  fact  that  one-half  the  land 
was  withheld  from  market  discouraged  immigration  to  the  country.  This  was 
especially  the  effect  of  the  River  Land  grant ;  and  when  the  war  was  over,  and 
things  began  to  put  on  a  hopeful  front,  the  grasshopper  invasion  came  like  a 
scourge,  and  gave  the  country  and  every  useful  enterprise  another  back-set.  But 
by  the  year  1872  the  town  and  the  country  began  to  make  a  solid  and  substan- 
tial growth.  Fort  Dodge  has  never  had  anything  like  a  boom,  but  for  the 
last  twenty  years,  progress  has  been  steady  and  healthy. 

"Honest"  John  Thissell  who  first  ran  a  hotel  in  the  old  barracks,  opened  his 
grocery  store  in  1866  and  continued  in  the  same  location  until  1883,  when  he 
retired  on  account  of  poor  health. 

The  firm  of  Furlong  &  Mulroney  began  business  in  1865  in  a  wooden  build- 
ing on  the  site  of  the  building  now  used  by  IMcIntire  and  Mallon  as  a  grocery. 
This  building  was  later  torn  down  and  the  present  brick  structure  erected.  In 
1875,  Mr.  ]\Iulroney  purchased  his  partner's  interest.     ^Nlr.  Furlong  later  went 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  169 

into  business  on  the  east  side  of  the  pubHc  square,  estabHshing  the  firm  of  Fur- 
long &  Brennan, 

The  first  harness  shop  was  opened  in  1857  by  P.  R.  Baldwin  in  the  old  com- 
missary building  of  the  fort.  He  remained  in  business  until  1861,  when  he  en- 
listed in  the  army  and  served  through  the  Civil  war.  Returning  to  Fort 
Dodge,  in  1870,  Air.  Baldwin  entered  the  agricultural  implement  business  locat- 
ing on  the  west  side  of  the  public  square.  He  had  the  first  agency  in  this  part 
of  Iowa  for  the  sale  of  the  JMcCormick  reaper. 

The  first  lumber  yard  was  that  of  Keefer,  Blanden  &  Norton,  which  was 
established  in  1858.  In  those  days  the  most  of  the  lumber  was  hauled  from 
Iowa  Falls  to  Boone.  Another  pioneer  lumber  merchant  was  J.  O.  Slauson,  who 
opened  a  lumber  yard  in  1868. 

The  earliest  real  estate  men  were  Ben  Grayson,  who  came  to  Fort  Dodge, 
October  18,  1855,  and  L.  M.  Olcott,  who  came  in  1856,  Olcott  later  became 
county  judge. 

The  first  livery  was  run  by  a  Mr.  Halleck.  In  those  days,  the  top  buggy 
with  the  spring  seats  was  as  much  a  sign  of  luxury  as  the  six  passenger  tour- 
ing car  of  today. 

The  first  jewelry  store  was  run  by  a  man  named  Anskins.  While  perhaps 
not  the  first,  Leisenrings  photograph  gallery  near  the  public  square  was  one 
of  the  earliest. 

The  first  clothing  store  was  opened  by  David  Fessler,  in  1858,  in  the  land 
office  building,  in  a  room  twelve  feet  wide  and  fourteen  feet  long.  Mr.  Fessler 
stayed  here  six  months,  and  then  moved  his  clothing  stock  to  a  building  near 
the  courthouse,  and  owned  by  Henry  Burkholder.  In  1872,  he  built  the  brick 
block,  which  was  known  as  the  Fessler  Opera  House  block.  Here  he  con- 
tinued in  business  until  his  death. 

The  Laufersweiler  furniture  store  was  the  earliest  of  its  kind.  Conrad 
Laufersweiler  came  to  Fort  Dodge  on  the  "Charlie  Rogers,''  in  the  spring  of 
1858.  He  brought  with  him  a  small  stock  of  furniture  consisting  of  a  few 
beds,  and  some  chairs  and  cupboards.  This  stock  was  placed  in  a  small  room 
which  he  rented,  and  which  had  been  built  for  an  office,  having  been  occupied 
by  the  Strow  brothers  as  a  law  office.  It  was  eighteen  feet  wide  and  thirty 
feet  long,  and  was  located  where  the  Messenger  building  now  stands.  He 
used  the  front  part  for  a  store  room  and  the  rear  for  his  work  shop.  Mr. 
Laufersweiler  made  all  his  furniture  himself,  out  of  black  walnut  lumber,  and 
afterwards  exchanged  the  furniture  for  more  lumber.  Coffins  were  also  made 
out  of  the  same  kind  of  wood. 

A  fashionable  milliner  of  those  early  days  was  Mrs.  Rose  Wilbur.  The 
fashionable  "modistes"  were  Mrs.  Stephen  Bouelle  and  her  two  daughters.  There 
were  no  hobble  skirts  in  those  days,  instead  "my  lady"  wore  hoops.  The  large 
merry  widow  was  unknown,  and  in  its  place  there  was  the  demure  poke  bonnet. 

The  earliest  brick-maker  was  Henry  A.  Piatt.  Upon  coming  here  in  1858, 
he  started  a  kiln  just  below  the  old  Bradshaw  plant.  Later  he  engaged  in  the 
grocery  business  for  some  twenty-five  years  at  the  corner  of  Fifth  street  and 
Central  avenue,  just  south  of  the  public  square  park. 

Jacob  Brown,  Sr.,  claims  the  distinction  of  being  the  oldest  continuous  grocer 
now   in  business  in  Fort  Dodge.     Mr.   Brown  started  in  the  grocery  business 


170  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COLXTV 

on  the  second  day  of  November,  1877,  at  his  present  location,  Xo.  15.  South 
Sixth  street,  and  has  continued  in  business  ever  since.  Previous  to  that  time, 
he  had  a  blacksmith  shop,  on  the  same  site,  which  he  started  in  1868. 

D.  M.  Crosby,  known  as  "genial  Morg,"  was  the  pioneer  shoemaker  and 
started  the  first  boot  and  shoe  store  in  Fort  Dodge.  The  first  extension  sole 
shoe  was  made  in  his  shop  by  his  brother,  C.  IT.  Crosby  and  was  worn  by  Governor 
C.  C.  Carpenter.  Governor  Carpenter  who  was  a  civil  engineer,  was  very  much 
annoyed  on  his  trips  across  the  prairies  by  the  sharp  edge  prairie  grass,  which 
would  cut  holes  through  the  toes  of  his  boots.  He  had  tried  putting  tin  tips 
on  them,  but  this  was  not  entirely  satisfactory.  It  occurred  to  Mr.  Crosby  one 
day,  that  if  the  shoe  or  boot  was  made  with  an  extended  sole,  that  it  would 
protect  the  upper.  He  spoke  to  his  brother  about  it  and  he  in  turn  worked  out 
the  idea.  The  first  pair  of  boots,  proved  so  satisfactory,  that  Mr.  Crosby  had 
more  business  than  he  could  do.  One  day  a  boot  and  shoe  salesman  from  Chi- 
cago came  into  the  shop  and  seeing  the  boots  became  very  much  interested  in 
the  soles.  The  boots,  which  Mr.  Crosby  had,  sold  for  $10.00  a  pair.  A  con- 
tract was  made,  however,  with  the  salesman  to  manufacture  a  cheaper  boot, 
which  would  retail  for  $6.00  a  pair.  Mr.  Crosby  sold  a  number  of  cases  of 
these  boots,  and  so  popular  were  they  with  the  trade  that  the  factory  sold  many 
thousand  of  cases. 

Mr.  Crosby  also  had  the  gift  of  writing  poetry,  which,  while  perhaps  lack- 
ing somewhat  in  poetical  quality,  still  had  so  much  of  good  humor  and  such 
a  sunny  view  of  life,  that  they  were  always  popular.  "Jingles,"  he  himself 
called  them.     On  his  seventy-seventh  birthday  he  wrote  the  following : 

// 
According  to  the  good,  old  book  where  it  is  recorded  down 

It  is  seventy-seven  years  today  since  I  first  came  to  town. 

You  must  not  criticise  me,  friends,  or  think  I  was  to  blame. 

For  I  was  just  a  little  kid,  but  got  there  just  the  same. 

Now  as  I  look  back  on  the  past  the  world  don't  seem  so  bad 
I  was  never  sorry  that  I  came,  in  fact  am  rather  glad. 

I  am  glad  to  live  on  this  green  earth,  am  glad  that  I  am  here 
To  meet  and  greet  you  all,  on  this,  my  seventy-seventh  year. 

I  am  proud  of  this,  my  native  land,  the  land  that  gave  me  birth 
Our  president,  the  most  beloved  of  any  man  on  earth. 

Our  ships  sail  through  the  open  door  on  nearly  every  sea, 
Our  Flag,  the  loveliest  Flag  on  earth,  floats  over  you  and  me. 

Experience  has  taught  me  this,  I  find  as  I  grow  old 
A  kindly  word  to  a  breaking  heart  is  better  far  than  gold. 
But  sympathy  and  kindly  words,  however  kindly  said, 
Will  never  fit  a  hungry  tramp,  like  solid  meat  and  bread. 

My  faithful  wife  is  with  me  still,  together  side  by  side 

We  have  met  the  ups  and  downs  in  life  since  she  became  my  bride. 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUXTV  171 

If  it  is  God's  will,  we  hope  that  she  may  still  keep  up  the  pace 
And  down  the  home-stretch,  side  by  side,  together  end  the  race. 

Yoti  wonder  why  I  lived  so  long,  am  hale  and  hearty  still ; 
I  may  as  well  just  tell  you  now;  with  your  consent  I  will, 

]My  answer  is  a  simple  one,  and  I  hope  you'll  not  forget — 

I  never  borrow  trouble  and  I  never,  never  fret. 
November  8,  1905. 

Christopher  Arnold  opened  the  first  barber  shop  in  1857.  He  was  a  native 
of  Germany.  After  graduating  from  a  Latin  Gymnasium,  he  was  made  chief 
of  police  in  his  native  town.  Later,  his  views  not  being  in  harmony  with  those 
of  king  William,  he  resigned  and  went  to  Switzerland.  In  1855,  he  came  to 
.A.merica,  settling  at  Erie,  Pennsylvania.  Two  years  later  he  came  to  Fort  Dodge. 
In  the  meantime  his  property  had  been  confiscated  by  the  German  government ; 
and  when  he  arrived  in  Fort  Dodge,  he  carried,  all  his  wordly  possessions  in 
a  little  satchell.  Borrowing  a  stove,  he  opened  a  barber  shop  in  a  small  room 
on  Williams  street  between  Second  and  Third  streets.  Trade  was  good,  and 
he  soon  saved  enough  money  to  send  for  his  family.  In  the  fall  of  1865,  he 
bought  Morgan  and  Richards'  mill,  north  of  the  Illinois  Central  railroad  bridge. 
Here  a  few  years  later  he  built  a  dam  at  a  cost  of  $10,000.  Several  times  the 
floods  and  ice  gorges  of  the  spring  time  wrought  considerable  injury  to  his 
property.  But  each  time  Mr.  Arnold  repaired  his  mill,  and  altogether  spent 
$35,000.00  His  advertisement  in  1876  refers  to  his  mill  as  being  the  oldest  in 
northwestern  Iowa.  The  mill  was  finally  destroyed  by  fire  in  1879,  ^^'^^  ^^'^^^ 
never  rebuilt.  Mr.  Arnold  then  entered  politics,  filling  the  oflice  of  county 
recorder  for  two  years.  During  the  latter  years  of  his  life,  he  spent  his  time 
in  looking  after  his  property.  Because  of  his  readiness  with  a  pen,  he  was 
often  called  upon  to  write  letters,  and  to  assist  the  early  German  settlers  in  their 
business  transactions. 

Merservey  and  Weston  kept  the  first  feed  store. 

One  of  those  induced  to  settle  in  Fort  Dodge  by  the  business  prospects,  which 
the  coming  of  the  Dubuque  &  Pacific  Railroad  promised,  was  Major  Elliot  E. 
Colburn,  who  came  to  Fort  Dodge  in  1855,  in  company  with  Messrs.  Booth 
and  Kavanagh.  Major  Colburn  preempted  a  half  section  of  land,  on  the  west 
bank  of  the  Des  Moines  river,  where  he  lived  for  four  years.  Mr.  Colburn 
opened  the  first  coal  mine  in  Webster  county  in  1856.  Prior  to  this  the  sol- 
diers at  the  fort  had  mined  a  little  out-cropping  coal,  but  had  not  really  opened 
a  mine.  This  w^as  in  1854,  and  the  coal  was  taken  out  about  a  mile  and  a  half 
above  the  fort,  on  the  east  side  of  the  river.  The  vein  was  about  three  feet 
in  thickness*  The  coal  was  very  soft,  light  and  free  burning.  \Miile  this  mine 
was  beitjg  operated,  it  caught  on  fire,  and  because  of  the  nature  of  the  coal, 
consumed  nearly  an  acre  before  it  could  be  put  out.  The  coal  strata  opened  by 
Mr.  Colburn  became  known  to  geologists  and  miners  as  the  "Colburn  vein." 
This  coal  was  very  hard  and  heavy.  It  sold  at  retail  for  ten  to  twelve  cents  a 
bushel.  The  actual  work-  of  operating  the  mine  was  performed  by  Thomas 
Donahue.  Thomas  Flaherty  and  Walter  Ford.  Mr.  Donahue  remained  in  the 
employ  of  Major  Colburn  for  about  four  years.     The  much  talked  of  railroad 


Vol    I— 1  'J 


172  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

did  not  materialize  as  soon  as  expected.  Even  the  vote,  by  which  Webster 
county  had  agreed  to  subscribe  $200,000.00  to  the  capital  stock  of  the  road, 
had  been  rescinded  by  a  later  vote.  Discouraged  by  the  hardships  of  frontier 
life,  Major  Colburn  returned  to  Ohio  in  1859.  However  he  did  not  remain  there 
long  for  he  too  answered  Lincoln's  call.  After  service  in  the  army  he  agaia 
returned  to  Fort  Dodge  in  1866.  Then  he  busied  himself  with  the  laying  out  of 
W^est  Fort  Dodge  which  was  then  a  part  of  his  claim.  Next  he  undertook  the 
development  of  the  coal  mines  on  the  west  bank  of  the  Des  Moines  river.  In 
this  venture,  Major  Colburn  invested  $15,000.00  and  lost  all.  For  although  the 
coal  was  of  good  quality,  faulty  construction  destroyed  the  shafts  and  water 
accumulated  in  the  mines.  In  1869  he  removed  to  New  York  and  later  became 
engaged  in  the  lumber  business  in  Texas,  where  he  died  in  1875.  The  next  mine 
was  opened  by  Samuel  Rees. 

Another  early  miner  was  Silas  Corey,  Sr.,  who  came  to  Webster  county  in 
1862  and  located  on  a  farm  on  Holiday  creek  in  Pleasant  Valley  township,  six 
miles  down  the  river  from  Fort  Dodge.  At  that  time  only  a  small  portion  of 
his  farm  was  under  cultivation,  and  his  nearest  neighbor  to  the  north  was 
ninety  miles  away.  In  addition  to  his  farming,  Mr.  Corey  also  operated  a  coal 
mine  on  Holiday  creek  which  was  the  first  mine  to  be  worked  permanently  in 
the  county. 

G.  V.  Patterson  was  one  of  the  early  contractors  who  came  to  Fort  Dodge 
in  1855.  The  first  brick  schoolhouse  was  built  under  his  direction.  He  was 
the  architect  of  the  old  St.  Charles  hotel  which  was  built  in  1857.  Later,  Mr. 
Patterson  kept  a  restaurant,  then  served  as  deputy  sheriff,  and  then  was  an 
auctioneer.  Anson  V.  Lambert,  another  pioneer  builder  who  came  in  1857, 
drew  the  designs  for  the  first  courthouse. 

Air.  F.  J.  Gunther,  a  brick  mason,  a  pioneer  of  1855,  worked  on  the  first 
brick  store  building  in  Fort  Dodge. 

Mr.  John  Parsons,  who  came  in  the  spring  of  1856,  established  the  first 
blacksmith  shop,  excepting  the  one  owned  by  the  government,  while  the  troops 
were  stationed  here.  He  also  for  several  years  operated  one  of  the  first  brick 
plants. 

One  of  the  early  carpenters  was  Israel  Jenkins,  who  came  to  Fort  Dodge  in 
1857.  He  took  the  contract  of  building  the  first  house  on  the  county  poor 
farm,  and  which  was  let  by  the  board  of  supervisors  in  1873. 

While  not  one  of  the  earliest  settlers,  yet  in  his  business  Jacob  Kirchner  was 
a  pioneer.  He  came  to  Fort  Dodge  in  1867,  and  established  the  first  sash  and 
blind  factory  in  the  city.  He  continued  in  this  business  until  1875,  when  he 
started  a  steam  flour  mill  at  the  corner  of  Twelfth  street  and  First  avenue, 
south.  Later  the  mill  was  leased  to  the  "trust,"  and  for  years  stood  idle,  with 
machinery  ready  to  operate  at  any  time.  With  the  death  of  Mr.  Kirchner,  the 
property  was  rented  for  a  garage,  and  was  destroyed  by  fire  in  191 1. 

Another  pioneer  contractor  was  John  O'Loughlin,  Sr.,  who  came  to  the  city 
in  1856.  Mr.  O'Loughlin's  home  in  Fort  Dodge  is  built  of  the  native  gypsum 
rock.  He  not  only  laid  the  walls,  but  also  quarried  the  gypsum  and  cut  the 
stone.  It  took  him  five  years  to  complete  the  task.  In  the  early  days  of  building, 
gypsum  rock  was  considered  the  ideal  building  material.  Its  present  use,  as 
stucco,  was  not  thought  of  at  that  time.     It  was  used  quite  generally  for  foun- 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  173 

dations,  and  in  the  construction  of  buildings.  "Fair  Oaks,"  the  home  of  John 
F.  Duncombe,  the  Illinois  Central  depot,  and  Scanlon's  blacksmith  shop,  were 
all  built  of  this  material.  George  W.  Roscoe,  another  carpenter  and  builder 
came  in  1854. 

A  quaint  character  of  the  early  days  was  Jerry  Lenihan,  who  came  to  Fort 
Dodge  in  1856.  He  was  a  man  of  large  stature  and  great  physical  strength. 
He  never  married.  At  the  time  the  old  courthouse  was  built,  Jerry  was  a  lime 
burner,  and  made  as  high  as  $75.00  per  day.  It  is  said,  that  many  a  time  he 
has  lit  his  cigar  with  a  five-dollar  bill,  much  to  the  wonder  of  his  spectators. 

Samuel  Todd  came  to  Fort  Dodge  in  1856  with  a  steam  engine  and  sawmill 
machinery,  the  first  engine  used  in  northwestern  Iowa,  except  a  small  one  used 
by  the  government  for  sawing  lumber  for  the  fort  buildings.  His  mill  was 
located  on  the  south  side  of  town,  where  he  operated  it  until  1864.  He  then 
moved  it  to  Otho  township,  and  there  operated  it  until  1869,  when  he  returned 
to  Fort  Dodge  to  live. 

"Jack  of  all  trades  and  master  of  none,""  is  an  old  saying.  This  was  not 
true,  in  the  case  of  Uncle  Walter  Goodrich,  Sr.,  who  was  jack  of  all  trades,  and 
master  of  each.  Walter  Goodrich  came  to  what  is  now  Lehigh,  October  7,  1855. 
He  was  a  man  of  exceptional  ability  along  mechanical  lines,  and  during  his  early 
residence  here  followed  various  occupations.  As  a  cabinet  maker  and  car- 
penter he  manufactured  furniture,  "looms,  spinning  wheels  and  wagons  and 
built  houses  for  the  early  settlers.  As  a  blacksmith  he  made  their  tools,  sharp- 
ened their  plows  and  shod  their  horses  and  oxen ;  and  as  a  cooper  he  made 
tubs  and  barrels  in  his  shop.  He  also  manufactured  coffins  and  caskets  and  did 
a  general  undertaking  business.  He  did  some  dentistry,  and  although  he  did 
not  practice  medicine  he  doctored  his  neighbors  with  simple  remedies  when 
they  were  ill.  From  the  age  of  twenty-one  Air.  Goodrich  was  a  preacher  and 
untiring  worker  in  the  Methodist  Episcopal  church,  and  attended  to  the  spiritual 
wants  of  the  people  as  well  as  their  physical  necessities.  He  christened  the 
babies  and  as  they  grew  up  taught  them  to  live;  he  married  them  when  they 
were  grown ;  and  when  death  came  he  preached  their  funeral  sermons  and  com- 
forted the  mourning  friends.  His  life  seemed  entirely  devoted  to  others.  He 
took  considerable  interest  in  public  aft'airs,  and  at  one  time  served  as  a  member 
of  the  county  board  of  supervisors.  After  a  useful  and  well-spent  life  he 
passed  cjuietly  away  July  7,  1901,  at  the  advanced  age  of  ninety-two  years,  eleven 
months  and  three  days. 

This  chapter  contains  the  names  of  but  a  few  of  the  sturdy  pioneers  who 
helped  to  make  Webster  county  what  it  is  today.  There  are  many  others,  who 
did  their  part,  and  did  it  well,  yet  about  whom  the  present  generation  hears 
nothing.  The  greatest  work  is  often  done  by  the  unassuming  person  and  the 
world  knows  nothing  of  it,  nor  does  history  record  its  achievements. 

PIONEER  NURSERYMAN  OF  THE  NORTHWEST 

Mr.  A.  J.  Haviland  was  the  pioneer  nurseryman  of  not  only  northwestern 
Iowa,  but  also  of  all  the  country  beyond.  His  nursery  was  established  in  1857, 
and  for  a  long  time  was  the  only  one  in  this  section  of  Iowa.  Mr.  W.  H.  Plumb 
had  a  small  orchard,  and  made  a  business  of  selling  seedling  apple  trees  which  he 


174  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

raised  himself.  Air.  Haviland,  however,  raised  and  sold  grafted  stock.  He 
continued  in  the  retail  business  until  the  time  of  his  death.  His  son,  \V.  C. 
Haviland,  under  the  firm  name  of  Bardwell  8:  Haviland  continued  the  business. 
Bardvvell  &  Haviland  did  an  extensive  business  all  over  the  United  States, 
shipping  to  every  state  and  territory.  The  firm  had  two  plants,  one  in  Hum- 
boldt county  and  the  one  in  \\'ebster  county.  The  former  contained  four 
hundred  acres,  and  was  the  larger  of  the  two,  the  one  at  Fort  Dodge  containing 
only  about  one  hundred  acres. 

In  the  early  days  of  their  business,  Bardwell  &  Haviland  had  the  heaviest 
mail  of  any  firm  doing  business  in  Fort  Dodge.  At  the  present  time  Mr.  W. 
C.  Haviland  is  the  sole  owner  of  the  nursery  farm,  which  is  known  as  the 
"Orchard  Glen  Fruit  Farm."  The  nursery  business,  however,  is  carried  on  under 
the  name  of  "Fort  Dodge  Nursery."  The  farm  contains  about  140  acres  of 
orchard  and  small  fruit,  and  its  annual  oittput  is  between  ten  and  twenty-five 
cars  of  apples  besides  considerable  small  fruit. 

At  the  St.  Louis  exposition,  Mr.  Haviland  received  a  silver  medal  and 
diploma  for  the  best  barrel  of  Wealthy  apples,  and  at  the  Omaha  exposition  he 
received  the  bronze  medal  and  diploma  for  the  best  exhibit  of  twenty-seven 
varieties. 

Both  Mr.  A.  J.  Haviland,  and  his  son,  ]\Ir.  W.  C.  Haviland  have  proven  that 
Iowa  and  Webster  county  may  be  considered  an  apple  and  small  fruit  coun- 
try, and  it  is  largely  due  to  their  efforts  that  the  farmers  of  Webster  county 
have  become  interested  in  the  raising  of  fruit.  Both  these  men  have  been  iden- 
tified with  the  work  of  the  State  Horticultural  Society,  Mr.  A.  J-  Haviland 
having  been  president  of  the  society  and  also  a  member  of  the  board  of  directors. 


CHAPTER  XIV 
FORT  DODGE  SCHOOLS 

"tPIE   old    ]!R1CK"    school the    high     school PAROCHIAL    SCHOOLS BUSINESS 

COLLEGES TOBIX    COLLEGE    AND    ITS    FOUNDER SNITKAV    PRIZE    DEBATE GOLD 

MEDAL    CONTESTS. 

The  first  school  in  Fort  Dodge  was  taught  by  C.  C.  Carpenter,  in  the  winter 
of  1854-55.  It  was  in  an  old  building  just  back  of  the  old  Wahkonsa  hotel. 
The  next  winter  ^fr.  D.  A.  W'eller  taught  school  in  one  of  the  government 
buildings.  In  1856  the  lirst  school  building  was  erected  on  the  corner  of  Sec- 
ond avenue  South  and  Seventh  street,  on  what  was  then  the  corner  of  Locust 
and  Sixth  streets.  In  the  early  days  this  building  was  known  as  "the  old  brick" 
school.  At  that  early  day  it  was  the  only  public  building  in  town,  and  was  used 
for  holding  the  courts,  political  meetings,  churches,  festivals,  and  other  affairs 
considered  of  a  public  nature.  It  was  there  that  the  two  companies  for  the 
Spirit  Lake  expedition  were  organized.  The  first  school  was  taught  in  this  build- 
ing by  Henry  Gunn  during  the  winter  of  1856- 1857.  When  the  news  of  the 
Indian  massacre  reached  Fort  Dodge,  school  was  dismissed,  and  the  building 
became  a  shelter  for  the  early  settlers  north  and  west  of  Fort  Dodge,  all  of 
whom  had  fled  here  with  their  wives  and  little  ones,  for  protection  against 
the  cruel  savages,  until  the  danger  had  passed  and  the  Indians  had  left  for 
their  reservation  farther  west. 

In  1869  Fort  Dodge  had  one  school  building  and  nine  teachers  including  the 
principal.  The  number  of  pupils  in  attendance  was  about  350.  In  1878  there 
were  thirteen  teachers,  with  the  principal.  In  1884  there  were  seventeen  teach- 
ers, not  including  the  superintendent.  The  buildings  at  that  time  were  the  Lin- 
coln, Arey,  West  Fort  Dodge  (one  room),  and  First  ward  (one  room).  During 
the  year  1890,  twenty-one  teachers  were  employed.  In  1899,  there  were  thirty- 
eight  teachers  employed,  not  including  the  superintendent,  and  the  buildings 
then  in  use  were  the  Pottery,  First  Ward,  West  Fort  Dodge,  Arey,  Wahkonsa, 
Lincoln,  and  the  new  high  school  building.  The  value  of  the  school  property 
for  that  year  was  estimated  $141,000.00.' 

Up  to  the  close  of  the  school  year  1897,  the  high  school  occupied  the  upper 
floor,  or  the  third  and  part  of  the  second  floor  of  what  is  now  the  Lincoln 
building.  In  the  fall  of  1897  it  moved  into  the  new  building.  This  was  nearly 
destroyed  by  fire  in  1907,  and  rebuilt  in  its  present  form  the  same  year. 

The  Wahkonsa  school  was  also  destroyed  by  fire  in  February,  1912.  The 
rapid  growth  of  the  city  made  more  school  buildings  a  necessity.  The  board, 
therefore,  at  once  began  the  rebuilding  of  the  Wahkonsa  and  also  a  new  school 

175 


176  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

building,  the  Duncombe,  in  the  northeast  part  of  the  city.  These  buildings  will 
be  ready  for  use  early  in  1913.  The  new  Wahkonsa  is  considerably  larger  than 
the  old,  and  besides  additional  land  has  been  purchased.  In  connection  with  the 
Duncombe  is   sufficient  ground   for  an  athletic  park. 

The  school  board  for  the  year  1912-13  are  C.  F.  Duncombe,  president;  E. 
H.  Williams,  Maurice  O'Conncr,  J.  R.  Files,  H.  R.  Beresford,  S.  T.  Thompson, 
and  Mack  Hurlbut.    The  secretary  of  the  board  is  J.  L.  Porter. 

In  1875  the  high  school  graduated  three  pupils,  one  boy  and  two  girls,  its 
first  graduates.  The  total  number  of  graduates  down  to  and  including  the  school 
year,  June,  1890,  a  period  of  sixteen  years,  was  thirty-seven  boys  and  fifty- 
five  girls,  a  total  of  ninety-two.  From  1 891  to  1898,  inclusive,  there  were  forty- 
three  boys  and  eighty  girls.  This  made  the  total  number  of  graduates,  up  to  the 
close  of  the  school  year  1898,  two  hundred  and  fifteen. 

The  German  Lutheran  school  was  organized  by  Rev.  Godfrey  Endres  in 
1863.    The  school  building,  erected  in  1895,  cost  $7,500.00. 

There  are  two  Catholic  parochial  schools  in  Fort  Dodge,  Corpus  Christi  and 
Sacred  Heart.  Corpus  Christi  Academy  was  organized  in  1862,  while  Rev.  John 
Marsh  was  pastor.  Sisters  of  Charity  of  the  B.  V.  M.  came  from  Dubuque  to 
conduct  the  classes.  In  1866,  it  was  decided  to  discontinue  the  school  and  the 
sisters  returned  to  their  mother  house. 

In  1874  the  old  school  building  was  enlarged  and  under  the  direction  of  the 
Very  Rev.  T.  M.  Lenihan  a  flourishing  school  was  established.  Sisters  of 
Mercy  came  from  New  York  City  and  made  this  convent  their  mother  house. 
Fire  destroyed  the  buildings  and  for  some  years  the  parish  was  without  a 
parochial  school.  The  present  school  building  was  erected  in  1901,  at  a  cost 
of  $25,000.00.  Sisters  of  Charity  of  the  B.  V.  M.,  of  Dul)uque,  have  charge. 
During  1912  ten  teachers  w^ere  employed  and  the  enrollment  was  257. 

Sacred  Heart  school  was  opened  in  1902. 

The  Fort  Dodge  Business  College  was  opened  in  1912  by  Professor  W.  B. 
Barger.  It  occupies  the  second  floor  of  the  Butler  building.  j\Irs.  Jule  Downey- 
Grosenbaugh  also  conducts  a  school  of  shorthand  and  typewriting  in  the  First 
National  Bank  building.  Besides  the  business  schools,  there  are  a  number  of 
music  and  art  schools  in  the  city. 

TOBIN   COLLEGE  AND  IT.S  FOUNDER 

I 

Tobin  College  was  founded  in  1892  and  was  the  fourth  school  founded  by 
Professor  Thomas  Tobin,  the  other  three  being:  Tilford  Academy,  at  A^inton, 
Iowa ;  Waterloo  College,  at  Waterloo,  Iowa,  and  Ellsworth  College,  at  Iowa 
Falls,  Iowa. 

Professor  Tobin,  who  was  a  native  of  Ireland,  was  born  August  15,  1835, 
and  died  May  27,  1900.  He  came  to  America  when  fourteen  years  of  age.  He 
did  not  have  a  chance  to  learn  his  letters  until  he  was  seventeen.  But  even 
at  that  age,  he  had  the  courage  to  set  out  to  secure  a  college  education,  earning 
the  necessary  means  himself.  But  so  hard  was  the  struggle,  that  for  three 
months  at  a  time,  he  did  not  have  money  enough  to  buy  a  postage  stamp., 

After  graduation.  Professor  Tobin  resolved  to  make  it  easier  for  backward 
boys  to  obtain  an  education,  and  to  give  them  a  chance  to  secure  instruction 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  177 

suited  to  their  individual  needs.  Accordingly,  in  1870,  he  came  to  Iowa  and 
established  Tilford  Academy,  at  Vinton.  In  1885  he  went  to  Waterloo  and 
started  Waterloo  College.  In  1889,  he  removed  to  lov^^a  Falls,  where  he  founded 
Ellsworth  College. 

Early  in  the  year  1892,  he  began  corresponding  with  Mr.  Frank  Gates,  Mr. 
F^rank  Farrell,  and  others,  concerning  the  establishment  of  a  college  in  Fort 
Dodge.  Satisfactory  arrangements  having  been  made,  Professor  Tobin  moved 
his  family  here  in  April  of  the  same  year,  and  work  on  the  college  was  started. 
The  property  for  the  college  site  was  purchased  from  Mrs.  Sarah  Dwelle,  the 
widow  of  the  last  landlord  of  the  old  St.  Charles  hotel.  This  property  included 
the  hotel  and  a  quarter  of  a  block  of  ground  on  the  corner  of  First  avenue  North 
and  Seventh  street.  While  the  college  building  was  not  completely  finished, 
yet  school  began  on  the  second  Monday  in  September,  1892. 

The  new  college  began  without  a  name.  A  week  or  so  after  it  opened.  Pro- 
fessor Tobin  was  invited  by  some  friends  to  spend  the  day  in  the  woods. 
While  he  was  gone,  the  teachers  and  students  took  matters  into  their  own 
hands,  called  a  meeting,  and  by  a  unanimous  vote,  christened  the  new  college, 
"Tobin,"  in  recognition  of  the  work  he  had  done  for  the  cause  of  education 
through  the  founding  of  so  many  colleges. 

The  formal  dedication  of  the  building  did  not  take  place  until  the  last  of 
October,  1892.  The  dedicatory  exercises  consisted  of  an  afternoon  and  even- 
ing program.  At  these  programs,  congratulatory  addresses  were  made  by 
prominent  business  men  of  the  city ;  also  by  Rev.  William  Randall,  pastor  of 
the  Baptist  church  at  Iowa  Falls,  and  Rev.  F.  E.  Eldredge,  state  Sunday  school 
missionary  of  the  Baptist  church,  both  of  whom  were  very  close  friends  of 
Professor  Tobin. 

The  enrollment  of  the  first  term  numbered  about  fifty.  At  the  opening  of 
the  winter  term,  many  of  the  country  boys  came  in,  and  the  enrollment  reached 
the  one  hundred  mark.  The  boarding  department,  the  first  fall,  numbered  about 
twenty.  In  the  wanter  this  number  increased  to  forty.  This  department  was 
carried  on  in  the  old  St.  Charles,  the  kitchen  and  dining  rooms  of  the  college 
building  not  being  finished  until  1893.  The  faculty  the  first  year  numbered 
nine.  Professor  Tobin  taught  general  history,  which  was  his  favorite  subject, 
and  gave  the  rest  of  his  time  to  the  supervision  of  the  school.  Professor  J.  F. 
Monk  had  charge  of  the  stenography  department  and  taught  the  languages. 
JMrs.  J.  F.  Monk  and  Miss  Mable  Allison  taught  the  normal  branches.  Professor 
B.  T.  Green  taught  the  sciences  and  mathematics  and  had  charge  of  the  com- 
mercial department.  The  music  department  was  under  the  direction  of  Pro- 
fessor W.  V.  Jones  and  his  daughter.  Miss  Gertrude  Jones.  Miss  Amelia  Golds- 
worthy  had  charge  of  the  art  department. 

The  first  class  graduated  in  June,  1893,  and  was  composed  of  thirteen  mem- 
bers from  the  commercial  and  stenographic  departments.  Those  from  the  com- 
mercial department  were :  J.  Oscar  Ahlberg,  Otto  L.  Boehm,  Walter  M.  Boehm, 
Edwin  Brickson,  Nora  Lenihan,  Benjamin  F.  McNeil,  Charles  R.  Peterson, 
Jennie  ]\I.  Slate.  The  stenography  class  included :  Jurgen  N.  Anderson,  Ella 
W.  Beach,  Annie  G.  Fahey,  Lizzie  E.  Harvison  and  Bessie  B.  Norton.  The 
first  normal  class  graduated  in  1894,  and  consisted  of  Jessie  V.  Cox  and  Ida  M. 
Prink. 


178 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 


In  1893,  Professor  Tobiii  made  a  contract  with  Messrs.  Green  and  Monk, 
by  which  they  were  to  take  charge  of  the  school,  buying  it  from  him.  But 
the  hard  times  in  1893-94  so  cut  down  the  attendance,  that  they  were  unable 
to  make  their  payments,  and  Professor  Tobin  again  assumed  active  control  in 
the  fall  of  1894.  Professor  Monk  remained  on  the  college  faculty,  but  Pro- 
fessor Green   followed  his  natural   inclination  and   studied  medicine. 

During  the  school  year  1894-95,  the  two  literary  societies,  the  Philomathean 
and  the  Amphycton,  were  established.  The  societies  have  remained  in  existence 
ever  since.  The  Snitkay  Debate  Prize  has  had  much  to  do  in  stimulating  the 
interest  in  debate.  This  prize  is  offered  by  Dr.  C.  J.  Snitkay,  an  alumnus  of 
the  class  of  "97,  and  his  wife,  Mrs.  Emma  Monk  Snitkay,  an  alumnus  of  the 
class  of  '95.  The  society  winning  the  contest  in  debate  is  given  a  prize  of 
$10.00.  This  prize  money  has  always  been  used  by  the  societies  for  the  benefit 
of  the  school.  It  was  in  declamatory  w'ork,  the  teaching  of  young  men  and 
women  to  think  and  talk  upon  their  feet,  that  Professor  Tobin  was  especially 
interested.  To  this  work  he  gave  freely  both  of  his  time  and  of  his  zeal.  Many 
of  the  older  students  of  the  college  remember  how  night  after  night,  he  sat  in 
the  rear  of  the  chapel,  criticising  and  commending,  but  always  urging  onward 
his  students.  And  the  present  success  of  many  of  the  alumni  is  due  in  a  large 
measure  to  the  training  of  Professor  Tobin.  His  interest  was  such  that  he 
never  missed  a  program  of  the  literary  societies,  nor  any  program  in  which 
his  students  took  part.  His  enthusiasm  and  interest  was  so  genuine  and  from 
the  heart  that  it  engendered  a  longing  for  success  in  his  pupils. 

The  first  declamatory  contest  of  the  college  was  held  in  the  year  1893.  and 
was  won  by. Miss  June  McNeil,  now  Mrs.  Kusterer,  of  Moorland. 

In  the  year  1896,  the  first  of  the  present  series  of  gold  medal  contests  was 
held.  These  contests,  held  annually,  provide  for  three  prizes :  A  gold  medal 
to  the  winner;  a  silver  medal  to  the  one  winning  second  place,  and  a  souvenir 
spoon  of  the  college  to  the  one  winning  third  place.  The  medals  have  l:)een 
the  gifts  of  various  persons,  wdio  have  thus  shown  their  interest  in  the  work 
of  the  college.  The  spoon  has  always  been  the  gift  of  the  college  management. 
The  contest  is  usually  held  the  last  Friday  evening  in  Alarch.  A  system  of 
preliminary  contests  held  each  term  leads  to  the  selection  for  the  closing  con- 
test in  the  third  term.  There  are  three  contestants  chosen  each  term,  thus 
making  nine  for  the  finals. 

The  honors  in  the  contests  since  their  lieginning,  together  with  the  donors 
of  the  medal  are  as  follows : 


Year     Winner 

1896  R.  G.  Tobin. 

1897  George  E.  O.  Johnson. 


1898 
1899 
1900 
1901 
1902 

1903  Miss  Ethel  Jondreau 

1904  James  A.  Martin. 


Mrs.   Nora  Haviland-Moore. 
M.   J.   Fitzpatrick. 
Otto  V.  Bowman. 
Miss  Edith  Bird. 


E.   E.   Cavanaugh. 


Donor 

Professor   T.    Tobin. 
]\Ir.   Isaac  Garmoe. 
Hon.    John    F.    Duncombe. 
Mr.  J.  F.  Carter. 
Mr.  ).   B.   Butler. 
Hon.  O.  M.  Oleson. 
Captain  S.  J.   Bennett. 
Mr.  M.  F.  Healy. 
Mr.    y.   G.  Early. 


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o 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 


179 


1905  Francis  Alurphy. 

1906  Miss  Eva  Southwick. 

1907  Aliss  Ellen  Schmoker. 

1908  Leon  W.  Powers. 

1909  William   Ryberg. 

1910  ]vliss  Christine  Urown. 

191 1  ^liss  ^Myrtle  Tullar. 

1912  D.  L.  Rhodes.* 


Messrs.  Monk  &  Findlay. 
Mrs.  Julie  Haskell-Oleson. 
Messrs.    Monk    &    Findlay. 
Mr.  H.  M.  Pratt. 
Mr.    H.    D.    Beresford. 
]\lr.    Charles   lies. 
Mrs.    ^largaret    Tobin-Pratt. 
Mr.    John   S.   Heffner. 


Perhaps  no  school  of  its  size  has  as  strong  an  alumni  association  as  Tobin 
College.  This  association  was  organized  in  1895  and  now  numbers  over  three 
hundred.  A  unique  feature  of  the  Tobin  College  Alumni  Association  is  the 
alumni  fund.  This  fund  was  started  in  1899  t>y  Professor  Tobin,  its  purpose 
being  "for  the  aid  of  worthy  students  in  their  efforts  to  gain  an  education." 

In  1899,  Professor  Tobin  sold  the  college  to  Messrs.  Monk  and  Findlay, 
who  have  carried  on  the  work  along  the  lines  originally  laid  down.  The  col- 
lege has  continued  to  prosper  and  grow  until  now  the  annual  enrollment  num- 
bers about  four  hundred. 

With  the  lives  of  such  men  as  Professor  Tobin,  Professor  ]\Ionk  and  Pro- 
fessor Findlay  dedicated  to  its  service,  Tobin  College  could  not  help  but  be  the 
source  of  blessing  it  is  to  the  community  and  to  the  young  people  who  have 
attended  it. 


*  D.  L.  Rhodes  and   .Miss  ^lildrcd   Sperry  tied   for  first  place,  and  on   drawing  lots   the 
honors  went  to  Mr.  Rhodes. 


CHAPTER  XV 
FORT  DODGE  CHURCHES 

FIRST  METHODIST  EPISCOPAL — ST.  MARK's  EPISCOPAL — ^THE  FIRST  CONGREGA- 
TIONAL— EARLY  CATHOLIC  CHURCH  IN  WEBSTER  COUNTY — PRESBYTERIAN — • 
CENTRAL    CHURCH    OF    CHRIST — RIVERSIDE    METHODIST — CHRISTIAN    SCIENCE — ■ 

FIRST      GERMAN      METHODIST GERMAN      EVANGELICAL ST.       PAUL's      GERMAN 

LUTHER.\N — ST.  OLAF's  NORWEGIAN SWEDISH   MISSION — FIRST  SWEDISH  LUTH- 
ERAN  SWEDISH  BETHLEHEM — SALVATION  ARMY Y.  M.  &  Y.  W.  C.  A. WEBSTER 

COUNTY  BIBLE  SOCIETY 

FIRST    METHODIST    EPISCOPAL    CHURCH 

The  first  Methodist  sermon  ever  preached  on  Iowa  soil  was  by  Rev.  Barton 
Randall,  in  what  is  now  the  city  of  Dubuque,  November  i6,  1833.  This  sermon 
was  preached  at  Harrison's  Tavern  in  the  village  of  Dubuque  in  Iowa  territory. 
The  next  year  a  class  was  organized  and  the  erection  of  a  church  was  begun. 

In  the  hospital  tent  of  the  garrison,  at  Fort  Dodge,  in  the  fall  of  185 1,  gath- 
ered the  first  congregation  to  hear  the  word  of  God  in  this  place.  The  tent  was 
pitched  just  west  of  where  James  B.  Williams  afterwards  lived.  The  congregation 
consisted  principally  of  soldiers,  a  few  carpenters  in  the  employ  of  the  post,  and 
a  few  trappers  and  frontiersmen.  The  meeting  lasted  three  days  and  was  con- 
ducted by  Rev.  J.  A.  Burleigh,  a  ]\Iethodist  minister,  who  afterwards  became  a 
member  of  the  Des  Moines  conference. 

The  first  society  organized  in  the  territory  embracing  Fort  Dodge  was  called 
"Webster  Alission,"  of  which  Rev.  Richard  Clagg  was  the  preacher  in  charge. 
The  first  record  of  its  meetings  was  that  of  a  quarterly  meeting  held  in  Homer, 
December  23,  1854.  Rev.  Wm.  Simpson  being  the  presiding  elder  and  P.  R. 
Detrick,  recording  steward.  There  were  three  appointments  named  in  the  min- 
utes :  "Tolman's  class,"  "Eckerson's  class,"  and  "Homer."  At  the  next  quarterly 
meeting  held  at  Border  Plains,  ]\Iarch  19,  1855,  Fort  Dodge  class  puts  in  an 
appearance  and  pays  fifty  cents  toward  the  support  of  the  pastor  and  presiding 
elder.    At  that  quarterly  meeting  the  following  resolution  was  passed : 

"Resolved,  That  we  will  assist  the  preacher  in  charge  to  sustain  and  carry  out 
the  doctrine  of  the  Discipline  on  the  subject  of  Temperance." 

This  quarterly  conference  also  inaugurated  a  plan  and  appointed  trustees  for 
the  erection  of  a  church  building  at  Homer.  P.  R.  Detrick,  D.  A.  Eckerson,  W. 
T.  Woolsey,  Theodore  Eslick,  Levi  Allen  and  John  Tolman  were  elected  the 
trustees. 

Webster  Circuit  was  organized  out  of  Webster  Mission,  and  held  its  first 

181 


182  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

quarterly  conference  at  Boone  schoolhouse,  on  Boone  river  December  8,  1855, 
Rev.  Daniel  L.  Abbott  being  pastor;  Samuel  Hayden  presiding  elder,  and  Will- 
iam Clearage,  junior  preacher.  From  that  date  the  list  of  pastors  is  as  follows: 
In  1856,  Rev.  J.  Parker;  1857,  Rev.  C.  H.  Lawton,  and  Rev.  David  P.  Day;  1858, 
Rev.  C.  H.  Lawton.  Rev.  J.  M.  Rankin  was  presiding  elder  during  all  these  years. 
At  this  conference  the  following  resolution  was  recorded: 

"Resolved,  that  vigorous  efforts  be  made  at  once  to  enlarge  the  subscription, 
and  if  possible  to  proceed  in  the  spring  to  build  a  ^Methodist  church  in  Fort 
Dodge." 

S.  B.  Ayers,  John  Parsons  and  the  pastor  were  appointed  to  estimate  the  cost 
of  the  proposed  church. 

Prior  to  this  services  were  held  in  the  brick  schoolhouse.  Rev.  S.  B.  Cntiber- 
son,  the  pastor,  was  sent  east  to  raise  money,  but  though  gone  almost  the  whole 
year  had  little  success.  By  persistent  effort  and  liberality  on  the  part  of  the 
public,  however,  the  church  was  built,  being  the  first  one  in  the  cit}'.  It  was  a 
large  roomy  building,  and  its  erection  was  a  creditable  work  for  the  young  society. 
The  shingles  on  this  building  were  oak,  and  were  split  by  hand  by  Isaac  Garmoe. 

At  this  time  the  circuit  was  again  divided  and  the  Fort  Dodge  circuit  organ- 
ized. This  circuit  extended  along  the  Des  Moines  valley,  embracing  Dayton  on 
the  south,  and  Algona  on  the  north.  Its  list  of  pastors  is  as  follows;  1859-60. 
Rev.  B.  Holcomb;  1861,  Rev.  Thomas  Thompson;  1862-63,  Rev.  H.  S.  Church; 
1864,  Rev.  S.  W.  Ingham.  Rev.  Joel  B.  Taylor  was  the  presiding  elder  during 
these  years.  At  this  period  came  another  change  and  Fort  Dodge  Station  was 
organized,  with  the  following  pastors  for  ten  years,  1865,  Rev.  W.  A.  Richards ; 
1866,  Rev.  C.  W.  Batchellor;  1867,  Rev.  C.  C.  Mabee;  1868,  Rev.  William  E. 
Smith;  1869,  Rev.  J.  M.  Robinson:  1870-71.  Rev.  W.  F.  Morrison;  1873.  Rev. 
T.  M.  Williams;  1873-74,  Rev.  J.  H.  Lozier.  The  presiding  eiders  for  this  period 
were  Rev.  D.  Lamont,  Rev.  T.  i\I.  Williams,  and  Rev.  J.  W.  Todd. 

Under  Rev.  Lozier's  pastorate,  the  church  membership  largely  increased  and 
the  need  of  a  new  church  w-as  apparent.  At  a  session  of  the  quarterly  confer- 
ence held  May  15,  1873,  this  matter  was  up  for  discussion,  and  a  committee  was 
appointed  to  formulate  church  building  plans.  This  committee  consisted  of  E. 
E.  Prusia,  Isaac  Garmoe,  D.  M.  Crosby,  D.  A.  Weller,  John  F.  Duncombe,  N.  M. 
Page,  G.  R.  Pearsons  and  F.  M.  Grant.  The  committee  at  once  began  the  work 
of  raising  money  by  subscription.  Within  two  months  they  had  raised  two 
thousand  dollars.  With  this  amount  in  sight,  the  trustees  of  the  church  decided 
to  go  ahead  with  the  building,  and  Isaac  Garmoe,  E.  E.  Prusia,  D.  M.  Crosby, 
G.  R.  Pearsons,  N.  M.  Page  and  F.  M.  Grant  were  appointed  a  building  com- 
mittee, with  jVIr.   Pearsons  as  chairman. 

At  a  session  of  the  board  of  trustees  January  8,  1874,  plans  were  submitted 
for  the  new  building.  Those  of  Mr.  A.  V.  Lambert  were  finally  accepted  and 
he  was  chosen  architect,  with  instructions  to  furnish  designs  and  specifications 
for  a  church  edifice  to  cost  not  less  than  fifteen  nor  more  than  twenty-five  thou- 
sand dollars.  The  work  of  excavation  was  commenced  at  once,  and  the  founda- 
tions were  laid  by  Patrick  O'Conner. 

Th.e  corner  stone  was  laid  September  15,  1874.  The  ceremony  was  in  charge 
of  the  Masonic  societies,  assisted  by  the  Odd  Fellows.  The  exercises  were  com- 
menced with  a  prayer  by  Rev.  J.   ff.   Burleigh,  who  preached  the  first  sermon 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  183 

in  Fort  Dodge.    An  address  of  welcome  was  made  by  Mr.  J.  M.  Berry,  chairman 
of  the  board  of  trustees,  and  responded  to  by  Gov.  C.  C  Carpenter.     This  was' 
followed  by  an  original  poem  by  Mr.  Woolsey  Welles. 

The  work  on  the  church  was  carried  on  during  the  balance  of  the  fall  and  win- 
ter. Messrs.  Mitchell  and  Sulzbach  had  the  contract  for  the  brick  work,  and 
Mr.  Israel  Jenkins  had  the  supervision  of  the  structure.  The  church  was  first 
occupied  for  services  in  August,  1875.  although  the  building  was  not  yet  completed. 
Lack  of  funds  made  it  necessary  to  postpone  the  completion  of  the  building. 

Rev.  J.  A.  Potter,  was  at  this  time  appointed  pastor,  and  served  for  one  year. 
He  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  H.  T.  Curl,  who  in  turn  was  succeeded  by  Rex.  I.  N. 
Pardee.  Under  his  pastorate  the  church  building  was  completed  and  formally 
dedicated,  June  3,  1878.    The  building  cost  about  twenty-two  thousand  dollars. 

The  parsonage  was  built  in  1893  and  cost  about  three  thousand  dollars. 

Since  Rev.  Pardee,  the  pastors  have  been :  Rev.  Henry  W.  Jones,  Rev.  George 
C.  Haddock,  who  was  later  murdered  in  Sioux  City  on  account  of  his  activity  in 
the  temperance  movement.  Rev.  L.  H.  Woodworth,  Rev.  J.  N.  Liscomb,  Rev.  J. 
W.  Southwell,  Rev.  J.  H.  Avery,  Rev.  George  Kennedy,  Rev.  Robert  Smiley. 
Rev.  A.  S.  Cochran,  Rev.  G.  \\'.  Pratt.  Rev.  George  C.  Fort,  and  Rev.  W.  H. 
Spence. 

ST  :\I,\KK"s  EPISCOrAL  CHURCH 

St.  Mark's  Episcopal  church  was  organized  at  a  meeting  of  the  citizens  called 
together  by  the  Rev.  Mr.  Peet,  rector  of  ,St.  Paul's  church,  Des  Moines.  This 
meeting  was  held  and  organization  effected  on  July  22,   1855. 

The  first  work  of  the  congregation  was  to  get  a  church  building.  Just  one 
year  after  the  organization,  (July  1856),  Bishop  Lee  offered  to  raise  the  remain- 
ing funds  necessary  for  a  chapel,  providing  $1,000.00  were  raised  in  Fort  Dodge. 
This  offer  was  not  accepted,  but  on  February  17,  1858,  the  vestry  resolved  to  build 
a  church  during  the  ensuing  summer.  Mr.  J.  L.  Cheney,  Mr.  E.  Bagg,  and  Dr. 
S.  B.  Olney  were  appointed  the  building  committee.  This  building  was  a  frame 
structure  and  stood  just  north  of  where  Tobin  College  now  stands. 

On  account  of  the  "hard  times''  of  the  panic  of  1857,  and  also  the  Civil  war 
ensuing,  the  building  was  not  completed  until  1873-76.  This  was  made  possible 
through  the  generosity  of  J.  F.  Duncombe,  Webb  Vincent,  Beth  Vincent,  B. 
Grayson,  H.  Beecher  and  Dr.  S.  B.  Olney.  The  church  was  consecrated  by  the 
Rt.  Rev.  H.  B.  Whipple,  D.  D.,  bishop  of  Minnesota,  on  June  28,  1876. 

.  January  5,  1892.  the  church  was  destroyed  by  fire.  Steps  were  immediately 
taken  for  the  erection  of  a  new  structure.  The  vestry  headed  by  the  Rev.  J.  W. 
Paige  and  ]\Ir.  Leon  A'inccnt  were  appointed  as  the  building  committee.  Rev. 
Paige  died  in  the  early  spring  of  1893.  On  April  23,  1893,  the  vestrv  appointed 
Messrs.  J.  C.  Cheney,  \\^e1)b  A'incent,  Leon  \'incent  and  A.  J.  Arthur  as  a  new 
building  committee.  On  May  24.  1894,  Mv.  C.  B.  Hepler  presented  a  proposal 
to  build  the  new  church  for  the  sum  of  $7,000.00.  This  was  accepted  and  the 
building  erected.  In  1898  the  chancel  was  enlarged  and  a  new  organ  installed 
at  a  cost  of  $2,683.00. 

THE  RECTORS 

Rev.  Mr.  Peet  who  initiated  the  organization  of  the  church  in  1855  and  during 
the  war  conducted  occasional  services. 


184  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

The  Rev.  T.  B.  Fairchild  called  to  the  rectorship  December  ig,  1857.  He 
remained  a  little  more  than  one  year. 

Rev.  Samuel  Goodale  called  in  the  spring  of  i860;  resigned  at  the  end  of 
a  year. 

On  October  i,  1866,  the  Rev.  John  Hochuly  became  rector;  leaving  January 
I,  1868. 

From  January  i,  to  Easter  of  1870,  there  Avas  no  rector,  then  the  Rev.  E.  H. 
Harlow,  was  called.    He  left  after  a  service  of  something  more  than  a  year. 

Rev.  Harlow  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  B.  R.  Phelps  who  left  early  in  1873. 

On  June  24,  1873,  Rev.  Charles  T.  Stout  became  the  rector.  He  appears  to 
have  been  an  energetic  worker,  wiping  out  the  debt  on  the  church  of  $2,200.00. 
During  his  stay  the  church  was  consecrated.  He  resigned  to  take  effect  July 
24,  1876. 

Rev.  W.  C.  Mills  of  Ottumwa,  immediately  followed ;  he  resigned  to  take 
effect  August  i,  1880. 

There  was  no  rector  until  April,  1882,  when  the  Rev.  C.  C.  Adams  was 
called.    Rev.  Adams  resigned  to  take  effect  April  i,  1883. 

May  7,  1883,  Rev.  P.  C.  Wolcott  was  called;  he  resigned  to  take  eft'ect  ]\Iay 
1,  1884. 

On  March  2/,  1885,  the  Rev.  Robert  J.  Walker  was  called  and  resigned  within 
a  year. 

On  April  25,  1888,  Rev.  J.  W.  Paige  of  Sharon  Springs,  N.  Y.,  became  rector. 
This  faithful  servant  died  March  31,  1893,  and  is  buried  in  Oakland  cemetery, 
Fort  Dodge. 

Rev.  Paige  was  succeeded  after  nearly  two  years  by  the  Rev.  A.  V.  Gorrell 
who  resigned  at  the  end  of  nine  months. 

On  April  19,  1897,  the  Rev.  C.  H.  Remington  was  called  and  became  rector. 
He  was  a  man  of  large  visions  and  had  a  personality  that  is  felt  to  this  day. 
Ill  health  compelled  his  resignation  in  December,  1905. 

The  Rev.  Charles  Lewis  Biggs  became  rector  on  January  8,  1905.  He  resigned 
to  take  charge  of  a  larger  parish  in  Henderson,  Ky. 

The  present  rector  is  Rev.  F.  E.  Drake. 

THE  FIRST  CONGREGATIONAL   CHURCH    OF   FORT   DODGE 

The  First  Congregational  church  was  founded  February  29,  1856.  On  that 
date  Mr.  and  Mrs.  William  Plumb,  J\Ir.  and  Mrs.  D.  A.  Haviland,  and  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  A.  J.  Haviland  met  at  the  home  of  William  Plumb,  who  then  lived  in  one  of 
the  houses  of  the  old  fort,  and  perfected  an  organization.  Officers  were  elected  as 
follows:  William  Plumb,  clerk;  A.  J.  Haviland,  treasurer;  D.  A.  Haviland, 
deacon. 

The  following  Sunday  services  were  held  at  the  old  schoolhouse  just  back 
of  where  the  Wahkonsa  school  building  now  stands.  Rev.  T.  N.  Skinner,  a  mis- 
sionary with  headquarters  at  Webster  City,  met  with  them  and  preached  their 
first  sermon.  At  this  meeting  they  celebrated  their  first  communion  service.  Rev. 
Skinner  supplied  the  new  church  until  spring,  when  Rev.  William  Kent,  the  first 
pastor,  came  from  Waterloo.  He  served  but  a  short  time.  Up  to  1864  there  was 
no  regular  pastor,  but  the  church  missionaries  looked  after  the  needs  of  the 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  185 

church.     The  well  beloved  Father  Taylor,  the  "Bishop  of  Iowa"  ministered  fre- 
quently to  them. 

In  1864,  Rev.  H.  E.  Boardman,  came  as  the  first  permanent  pastor.  The  year 
book  for  1865  gives  the  following  data:  members,  nineteen;  received  during  the 
year,  seven  by  letter  and  five  on  profession  of  faith;  one  dismissed,  and  one 
absent.  One  baby  baptized ;  one  adult  baptized ;  eighty  in  the  congregation  ;  forty- 
five  in  Sunday  school;  benevolent  contributions  $32.00.  In  the  year  1866,  the 
Congregationalists  formed  a  partnership  with  the  Presbyterians,  services  being 
held  in  the  Presbyterian  church.  During  this  year  also  Rev.  Boardman  resigned, 
and  Rev.  C.  F.  Boynton  began  his  ministry  and  remained  until  1868,  when  Rev. 
Phillips  came.  However,  Rev.  Phillips  was  pastor  but  a  short  time,  ill  health 
forcing  him  to  give  up  the  work.  Foi"  a  year  the  church  was,  without  a  pastor,  and 
they  continued  to  meet  with  the  Presbyterians.  A  meeting  was  held,  May  29, 
1869,  and  the  decision  was  reached  that  the  Congregationalists  should  form  a 
separate  organization  if  Congregationalism  were  to  be  preserved.  Accordingly 
letters  of  dismission  were  granted  to  all  who  -wished  to  join  other  churches. 
There  then  remained  but  nine  Congregationalists.  These  nine  were:  George 
Killam,  ^Ir.  and  ^Irs.  L.  W.  Smith,  Air.  and  Mrs.  O.  P.  Fuller,  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
G.  S.  Killam  and  Mr.  and  Mrs.  G.  S.  Webber.  At  the  beginning  of  the  pastorate 
of  Rev.  David  Wirt,  who  was  called  in  1869,  the  following  became  members :  Air 
and  Mrs.  C.  H.  Payne,  William  K.  Laughlin,  Jr.,  Thomas  A.  Laughlin,  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Clark  Fuller,  Mr.  and  Airs.  Bronson  R,  Merritt  and  daughter.  Miss  Helen 
R.  Merritt;  Rev.  and  Mrs.  David  Wirt  and  daughter,  Aliss  Julia  Wirt,  making 
twenty^one  members  in  all.  Services  were  held  for  a  while  in  Henry's  hall,  which 
stood  on  the  north  side  of  Central  avenue  between  Sixth  and  Seventh,  then  in 
the  Child's  block,  just  south  of  the  present  courthouse,  then  for  awhile  they  met 
in  the  old  Alethodist  church,  and  then  in  the  courtroom  in  the  old  courthouse.  A 
new  constitution  was  adopted  in  1869  and  the  following  officers  were  elected:  C. 
H.  Payne,  deacon ;  O.  P.  Fuller,  treasurer ;  G.  S.  Killam,  clerk.  The  five  trus- 
tees were :  Thomas  Laughlin,  L.  W.  Smith,  O.  P.  Fuller,  William  K.  Laughlin, 
and  G.  S.  Killam.  During  the  same  year  the  congregation  decided  to  build.  The 
building  committee  were  Rev.  David  Wirt,  O.  P.  Fuller,  G.  S.  Killam,  G.  S. 
Webber.  The  contract  for  the  building  was  let  to  B.  D.  Beach  for  $1,750.00. 
The  location  chosen  was  the  present  site  of  the  Carter  building,  in  the  middle  of 
the  block  between  Tenth  and  Eleventh  streets  on  the  north  side  of  Central  avenue. 
This  building  was  dedicated  January  23,  1870.  Rev.  C.  F.  Boynton  gave  the 
scripture  reading  and  prayers.  The  dedicatory  address  was  made  by  Rev.  J. 
Guernsey.  When  the  Congregationalists  moved  to  their  present  location  in  1887 
the  old  building  was  subsequently  used  by  the  Christian  church,  and  then  by  the 
Salvation  Army.  It  was  a  plain  unpretentious  brick  structure,  that  would  seat,  at 
the  most,  only  about  three  hundred ;  but  in  the  early  seventies  it  was  considered 
something  fine.  The  first  baby  baptized  in,"the  little  brick  church"  was  Perry 
Page  Killam.  Hon.  George  E.  Roberts,  now  director  of  the  United  States  mint, 
was  at  one  time  janitor  of  this  church  building,  and  the  records  show,  that  he 
received  a  salary  of  one  dollar  for  a  month's  labor.  Rev.  Wirt  resigned  in  the 
latter  part  of  1870,  and  for  a  year  Rev.  William  A.  Patton  and  Rev.  Julius  House 
supplied  the  pulpit.  In  1872  Rev.  Thomas  O.  Douglas  was  called  as  pastor  and 
served  the  church  for  two  years.     He  was  followed  by  Rev.  D.  M.  Brecken- 


186  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

ridge,  who  remained  four  years.  During  Rev.  Breckenridge's  pastorate  the  church 
membership  increased  to  one  hundred  and  nineteen.  In  1878  Rev.  L.  L.  West 
became  pastor.  During  his  leadership,  the  present  church  on  the  corner  of  First 
avenue  north  and  Seventh  street  was  built.  This  structure  cost  $10,000.00,  and 
was  dedicated  January  i,  1887.  Rev.  Thomas  O.  Douglas  and  President  Will- 
iam Brooks  of  Tabor  College  conducted  the  dedicatory  exercises.  Rev.  W^est's 
pastorate  was  the  longest  in  the  history  of  the  church  extending  over  a  period  of 
twelve  years.  He  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  E.  S.  Carr  in  1890,  who  served  until 
1894,  and  was  followed  by  Rev.  E.  R.  Latham.  Rev.  Latham  served  three  years, 
and  in  1897,  Rev.  H.  D.  Wiard  was  called,  and  remained  until  1901.  Rev.  W.  I. 
Suckow  began  his  pastorate  in  June,  1902,  and  continued  until  1905.  In  that  year 
Rev.  Reuben  L.  Breed  came  to  the  church  and  served  until  the  fall  of  1909,  when 
the  present  pastor,  Rev.  Nelson  \\'ehrhan,  began  his  work. 

THE    EARLY   CATHOLIC    CHURCH    IN    WEBSTER    COUNTY 

Prior  to  1856,  the  spiritual  wants  of  the  few  pioneer  Catholics  in  this  part 
of  the  state  were  cared  for  by  a  few  mission  priests,  who  traveled  the  prairie 
wilderness  on  horseback  and  sought  out  from  house  to  house  the  scattered  mem- 
bers of  that  church.  Among  these  men  were  the  Rev.  Matthias  Hannon  who 
came  overland  in  1853  from  the  southeast. 

The  first  priest  to  come  to  Fort  Dodge  as  a  regular  pastor  was  Father  John 
Vahey  who  arrived  in  1856.  He  built  a  little  cabin  to  live  in  and  started  the 
building  of  the  first  church,  constructed  from  rough  hewn  logs.  His  parishioners 
were  few,  and  among  those  who  helped  cut  and  hew  the  logs  were  Dr.  W.  L. 
Nicholson,  Peter  Reilly,  William  Reilly  and  John  P.  White. 

Father  \'ahey  left  in  1857,  and  in  the  autumn  of  that  year.  Father  ^McCullough 
came  and  remained  one  winter.  He  was  succeeded  by  Father  Ellwood  who 
remained  about  two  years.  Then  came  the  well  beloved  and  gentle  Father  Marsh 
in  i860,  and  he  remained  until  his  untimely  death  in  1865.  His  dust  and  bones  are 
resting  now  in  the  vault  in  the  Catholic  cemetery  north  of  the  city.  lie  knew  all 
the  pioneers,  the  men,  women  and  children,  and  a  gentler,  kindlier  man  never 
trod  the  soil  of  the  great  stretch  of  country  that  constituted  his  parish,  extending 
from  Fort  Dodge  to  Emmetsburg  and  Spirit  Lake  on  the  north,  and  to  Sioux 
City  on  the  west.  Often  in  the  dead  of  winter,  he  would  drive  with  his  ox  team 
across  the  prairies  to  minister  to  the  needs  of  those  in  these  distant  parts  of  his 
parish.  Father  Marsh  took  his  axe  and  with  some  of  his  parishioners  cut  the 
logs  and  lumber  from  the  hillside  near  what  is  called  Arnold's  dam  to  build 
the  first  Catholic  school  in  Fort  Dodge. 

After  the  death  of  Father  Marsh  in  1865.  Fathers  Delany  and  Butler  came  and 
remained  until  1870.  Then  came  Father  Thomas  M.  Lenehan  whose  long  and 
successful  pastorate  is  a  part  of  the  general  history  of  the  state.  He  remained 
until  1897,  when  he  was  made  Bishop  of  Cheyenne.  Father  Lenehan  built  the 
present  Corpus  Christi  church  which  was  dedicated  January  i,  1883.  He  also 
built  the  old  convent  and  began  the  construction  of  the  present  school. 

Bishop  Lenehan  was  succeeded  by  Father  Campbell  under  a  temporarv  appoint- 
ment, and  in  September,  1897,  Rev.  P.  J.  Burke  was  assigned  as  pastor  and 
remained  until  September,  1903. 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  187 

Then  came  \'ery  Rev.  !>.  C.  Lenehan,  the  vicar  general  of  the  Sioux  City  dio- 
cese, whose  long  and  faithful  service  as  a  priest  earned  him  the  honor  of  pro- 
motion as  a  Monsignor  in  1905.    He  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  James  T.  Saunders. 

Sacred  Heart  Parish  was  established  June  3,  1897,  by  Arch  Bishop  Henessy. 
Father  Edmond  Heelan,  who  was  at  that  time  rector  of  the  Cathedral  at  Dubuque, 
was  appointed  to  take  charge  of  the  new  congregation  and  is  still  here.  On  July 
21,  1897,  work  was  begun  on  a  church  which  cost  about  $4,500.CX).  On  Sunday, 
October  24,  1897,  mass  was  celebrated  in  it  for  the  first  time,  and  on  Sunday, 
November  7,  1897,  the  church  was  dedicated  with  solemn  and  appropriate 
ceremonies  by  Monsignor  Ryan  and  a  large  number  of  priests.  Rev.  R.  Slattery 
of  New  Hampton  preached  the  dedicatory  sermon  at  morning  mass,  and  at  the 
evening  service  Rev.  \X.  Halpin  lectured  to  a  large  audience. 

The  two  Fort  Dodge  congregations  are  now  among  the  most  prosperous  in 
tiie  state.  In  19 10,  the  Knights  of  Columbus  erected  their  building  on  First 
avenue  south,  and  Ninth  street.  St.  Joseph's  Hospital,  built  in  1908,  was  dedi- 
cated March  21,   i(p9.  by  Bishop  Garrigan. 

When  Father  T.  ^\.  Lenehan  came  here  in  1870,  there  was  only  the  little  old 
church  now  used  as  a  chapel.  Today  there  are  two  churches  in  Fort  Dodge,  two 
parochial  schools  and  residences,  a  fine  brick  church  and  school  at  Clare  and 
churches  at  Barnum,  Moorland,  Lehigh,  Duncombe,  Mncent,  Coalville,  and  the 
church  on  the  Lizard,  almost  on  the  Pocahontas  county  line.  The  parish  he  had 
in  1870  has  now  over  one  hundred  sub-divisions  and  but  few  of  his  old  co-laborers 
of  that  date  are  living. 

The  soldiers  left  the  old  fort  here  in  1854,  and  fast  upon  the  advancing  and 
protecting  rifle  came  the  Catholic  pioneers.  In  1855  came  Mrs.  Hannah  Reilly 
and  family.  They  settled  upon  the  north  half  of  section  thirty-three  in  Cooper 
township  and  received  a  patent  from  the  LTnited  States  government.  This  patent 
they  held  for  nine  years  and  then  they  were  evicted.  George  Crilly  was  another 
of  the  vanguard  coming  in  1855.  He  settled  upon  the  quarter  section  of  land  of 
which  Olesori  Park  is  now  a  part.  He,  too,  had  title  from  the  government,  but 
lost  his  land,  and  for  many  years  Mrs.  Reilly  and  George  Crilly  fought  for  their 
homes.  \lrs.  Reilly's  case  went  to  the  United  States  supreme  court  and  George 
Crilly  stormed  the  chambers  of  congress  pleading  for  his  home.  They  both  lost 
but  bravely  turned  their  faces  to  the  future  and  began  again.  Mrs.  Reilly  died 
here  in  Fort  Dodge,  and  George  Crilly  died  a  few  years  ago  in  South  Dakota. 

FIRST    PRESBYTERIAN    CHURCH 

The  First  Presbyterian  church  was  organized  September  22,  1856,  by  Rev. 
S.  T.  Wells,  a  missionary.  The  first  members  were  Maj.  W.  Williams,  Jeanette 
J.  Williams,  Samuel  Rees,  Eleanor  Rees,  and  Andrew  Miller.  The  first  minister 
was  Rev.  Edward  L.  Dodder.  Andrew  Miller  and  Samuel  Rees  were  ordained 
elders. 

On  the  twenty-first  of  July,  1856,  William  Wilson,  Jr.,  of  Philadelphia,  of  the 
firm  of  Wilson,  McBane  &  Co.,  drew  up  a  subscription  paper  soliciting  aid  "to 
build  a  Presbyterian  meeting  house  in  Fort  Dodge."  On  September  22,  1856,  the 
trustees  received  a  donation  from  the  proprietors  of  the  town  of  lot  three,  block 
twenty-five,  valued  at  $100.00.    Money  to  erect  a  building  was  raised  by  subscrip- 

Vol.  I    —13 


188  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

tion,  and  the  church  was  completed  and  dedicated  February  25,  1856,  at  a  cost 
of  $2,207.00  As  the  church  grew  this  edifice  proved  too  small,  and  two  lots  were 
secured  in  1880  on  the  corner  of  First  avenue  south  and  Eighth  street  for 
$1,600.00.  Subscriptions  to  the  amount  of  $10,292  were  raised.  Work  was 
begun  the  same  year  and  the  church  was  dedicated  October  7,  1881,  under  the 
pastorate  of  Dr.  Robert   F.  Coyle. 

During  the  years  1861-69,  the  Presbyterians  and  Congregationalists  held  union 
services.  The  church  has  always  been  active  in  missionary  work,  and  has  sup- 
ported a  mission  west  of  ^loorland,  at  the  Duncombe  mills,  and  the  Memorial 
Chapel  on  the  corner  of  Fourteenth  and  Tenth  avenue  south. 

The  jMemorial  Chapel  was  built  by  Mr.  E.  H.  Rich  in  memory  of  his  son, 
Willis  Rich.  The  following  have  served  the  church  as  pastors :  Rev.  Edward  L. 
Dodder,  Rev.  Lyman  C.  Gray,  Rev.  R.  F.  Coyle,  Rev.  Ezra  B.  Newcomb,  Rev.  j. 
Milton  Greene,  Rev.  Phil  C.  Baird  and  the  present  pastor,  Dr.  E.  E.  Hastings, 
who  has  been  pastor  since  1908.  The  society  when  organized  belonged  to  the 
Presbytery  of  Dubuque,  but  now  forms  a  part  of  the  Presbytery  of  Fort  Dodge. 

THE    FIRST    BAPTIST    CHURCH 

The  First  Baptist  church  of  Fort  Dodge  was  organized  June  16,  1871,  by 
Rev.  H.  D.  Weaver,  with  ten  members.  Its  first  services  were  held  in  the  old 
brick  schoolhouse  on  Second  avenue  south.  In  1876  the  congregation  built  a 
church  on  the  corner  of  Central  avenue  and  Tenth  street,  where  the  Wahkonsa 
Hotel  now  stands.  Rev.  George  W.  Freeman  was  pastor  at  this  time.  The 
church  was  closed  for  several  years  and  the  congregation  disbanded.  In  the 
winter  of  1892.  Rev.  T.  S.  Bovell  reorganized  the  church,  holding  a  series  of 
meetings  which  resulted  in  a  number  of  additions  to  the  church  membership,  and 
also  served  to  increase  the  interest.  Rev.  Bovell  served  as  pastor  for  seven 
years,  and  was  followed  by  Rev.  Arthur  Parks,  who  was  ordained  by  the  church 
in  June,  1899.  Rev.  Robert  Carroll  succeeded  Rev.  Parks  in  1901.  During  his 
leadership  the  present  church  building  on  First  avenue  north  and  Tenth  street 
was  erected.  The  dedication  took  place  in  November,  1903.  The  present  pastor 
is  Rev.  Alva  J.  Brasted. 

THE    CENTRAL   CHURCH    OF    CHRIST 

The  Central  Church  of  Christ  was  organized  by  Rev.  A.  M.  Haggard,  state 
secretary  of  the  Church  of  Christ,  in  November,  1895,  with  a  membership  of 
forty-six,  which  increased  to  one  hundred  by  the  end  of  the  year.  The  first  pas- 
tor was  Rev.  G.  W.  ]\Iapes,  who  was  followed  by  Rev.  C.  C.  Davis.'  For  several 
vears  services  were  held  in  the  old  Congregational  church.  Later  they  secured  a 
lot  on  the  corner  of  First  avenue  north  and  Twelfth  street.  During  the  leader- 
ship of  Rev.  S.  H.  Lee,  the  ])lans  for  the  present  church  structure  were  begun. 
However,  the  building  was  not  finished  until  the  pastorate  of  Rev.  Lewis  H. 
Kopp  in  1909.  Rev.  S.  R.  Reynolds,  the  present  pastor,  has  served  the  church 
since  1912. 

THE    RIVERSIDE     METHODIST    CHURCH 

On  account  of  the  growth  of  the  city,  it  was  found  expedient  to  divide  the 
First  Methodist  church  in  1892.     Accordingly,  the  Riverside  Methodist  church. 


FIEST  PEESBYTEEIAN  CHUECH,  FOET  DODGE 

Dedicated  October  7,  1881 


GEEMAN  METHODIST   CHUECH,   FOET  DODGE 
Built   in    1879.      Now   Christian   Scierce   Church 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  189 

located  in  West  Fort  Dodge,  was  organized  and  a  church  structure  erected  the 
same  year.  Rev.  C.  E.  Leitzell  is  the  present  pastor  and  also  has  charge  of  the 
Epworth  ^lethodist  church,  situated  at  the  corner  of  Eleventh  avenue  south  and 
Twenty-first   street. 

CHRISTIAN    SCIENCE 

The  Christian  Science  society  was  formed  from  the  membership  of  several 
classes  which  were  taught  by  Mrs.  Mary  Philbrick,  C.  D.  S.,  during  the  summer 
of  1888.  Mrs.  Philbrick  was  a  student  of  Mary  Baker  Eddy.  For  a  number  of 
years  the  society  met  in  various  rooms  and  halls.  For  a  time  they  met  in  the 
Mason  block,  later  they  purchased  the  property  of  the  German  Methodist  society 
on  the  corner  of  Twelfth  street  and  First  avenue  north,  which  constitutes  their 
present  church  building. 

FIRST    GERMAN     METHODIST     CHURCH 

The  First  German  Methodist  Episcopal  society  was  organized  in  1873.  At 
the  first  services  were  held  in  private  homes  and  halls.  In  1879  ^  ^^^  ^^'^s  pur- 
chased, and  a  church  built  on  the  corner  of  First  avenue  north  and  Twelfth 
street,  w'hich  was  afterward  sold  to  the  Christian  Science  church.  At  the  present 
time  the  church  has  no  organization  in  Fort  Dodge. 

GERMAN    EVANGELICAL    CHURCH 

The  German  Evangelical  chvirch  was  organized  in  1864,  by  Rev.  J.  Keiper. 
Previous  to  this,  Rev.  FI.  Hinze,  and  Rev.  H.  Kleinsorge  had  held  meetings  dur- 
ing the  years  1861-62.  In  1867,  under  the  pastorate  of  Rev.  A.  Stoebe,  a  small 
brick  church  was  built  on  First  avenue  north,  between  Tenth  and  Eleventh 
streets.  This  church  was  subsequently  torn  down  and  the  congregation  built 
their  present  structure  in  1902.  Among  those  who  have  served  the  church  as 
pastors  are:  Rev.  H.  Hinze,  Rev.  H.  Logeschultze,  Rev.  H.  Kleinsorge,  Rev.  J. 
Keiper,  Rev.  A.  Stoebe,  Rev.  H.  Brauer,  Rev.  L.  Bauerfeind,  Rev.  August  Goetze. 
The  present  pastor  is  Rev.  J.  D.  Klooz. 

« 
.ST.  Paul's  german  Lutheran  church 

St.  Paul's  German  Lutheran  church  was  organized  by  the  Rev.  F.  Fikensher 
in  i860,  with  a  membership  of  seven  families.  The  first  German  sermon  w^as 
preached  at  the  home  of  Mr.  Lenhart  Fessel,  on  First  avenue  south.  In  1864, 
under  the  leadership  of  Rev.  Godfrey  Endres,  a  stone  church  was  built  in  which 
the  congregation  worshiped  for  twenty  years.  The  present  church,  on  the  corner 
of  Fourth  avenue  south  and  Thirteenth  street,  was  dedicated  in  1886.  The 
Sunday  school  was  organized  in  1863.  The  pastors  have  been  Rev.  F.  Fikensher, 
Rev.  Godfrey  Endres,  Rev.  ]:  L.  Craemer,  Rev.  Ernest  Zuerrer,  and  Rev.  Mar- 
tin I.  \^on  der  Au,  who  has  served  since  1909. 


190  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

ST.    OLAF's    NORWEGIAN    CHURCH 

St.  Olaf's  Norwegian  Lutheran  church  was  organized  September  22,  1891,  by 
Rev.  B.  K.  Berkeland,  with  a  menil^ership  of  twenty.  For  three  years  services 
were  held  in  the  Swedish  Lutheran  church.  During  the  summer  of  1893,  a 
movement  was  started  for  raising  funds  to  build  a  new  church,  and  plans  were 
drawn  and  accepted.  In  September  of  the  same'  year  the  foundation  was  laid. 
The  church  was  finished  and  dedicated  the  last  Sunday  in  October,  1894.  The 
present  pastor  is  Rev.  P.  C.  Danielson. 

SWEDISH     MISSION     CHURCH 

The  Swedish  Mission  church  is  located  on  Avenue  "B"  between  "K"  and 
"L"  streets  in  West  Fort  Dodge.  It  was  organized  in  1901.  The  present  pastor 
is  Rev.  C.  J.  Andrews. 

FIRST    SWEDISH     LUTHERAN     CHURCH 

May  31,  1870,  a  party  consisting  of  Carl  J.  Johnson,  Lars  Sandquist,  Peter 
Olofson,  Christian  Petterson,  Magnus  Hof,  Carl  J.  Petterson,  Carl  O.  Peterson, 
August  Nelson,  Anders  Anderson,  Isaac  Swanson,  John  Johnson,  John 
Peter  Anderson.  Carl  Alfred  Haf.  Olof  Berg,  Christian  Person,  and  Olof  Olof- 
son met  at  the  home  of  August  Nelson  in  West  Ft.  Dodge  and  organized  a  Swe- 
dish Lutheran  church.  Rev.  Llokan  Olson  was  chosen  chairman  of  the  meeting 
and  August  Nelson,  secretary.  Gustaf  Alstrand,  while  one  of  the  promoters 
of  the  organization  was  not  present,  but  was  elected  a  trustee  at  this  meeting.  It 
was  decided  to  affiliate  with  the  Augustana  Synod  of  America.  Deacons  and 
trustees  were  elected,  and  the  treasurer  was  instructed  to  raise  funds  and  secure 
a  building  site. 

Of  those  who  first  met  to  organize  the  church  only  three  are  living  today, 
namely,  C.  O.  Peterson,  residing  at  214  Second  avenue  south;  August  Nelson 
of  Dayton,  Iowa,  and  Gustaf  Alstrand,  residing  at  220  'T"  street. 

September  28,  1870,  a  constitution  and  by-laws  were  adopted.  Services  were 
held  whenever  possible,  sometimes  at  the  homes  of  the  members,  and  also  in  the 
old  brick  schoolhouse  that  stood  on  Second  avenue  south  between  Seventh  and 
Eighth  streets.  Services  were  often  held  in  the  German  Lutheran  church,  that 
was  located  on  Third  avenue  south  between  Fifth  and  Sixth  streets.  This  build- 
ing was  built  of  gypsum  stone. 

In  December,  1870,  Hon.  John  F.  Duncombe  presented  the  church  with  two 
lots  located  on  the  banks  of  the  Des  Moines  river  on  "J"  street.  In  1873  a  church 
was  built.  It  was  twenty-four  feet  by  thirty-four  feet  on  the  ground  and  four- 
teen feet  in  height.     The  church  was  dedicated  by  the  Rev.  Hokan  Olson. 

In  1874  Rev.  A.  Philgren  was  called  to  serve  as  pastor  of  this  and  the  church 
at  Manson,  Iowa.  A  parsonage  was  built  in  1875  or  1876.  The  church  was  incor- 
porated in  the  early  seventies,  but  was  reincorporated  in  1878.  A  call  was 
extended  to  Rev.  C.  L.  Beckstrom  to  become  a  minister  for  the  church.  Rev. 
Beckstrom  remained  eleven  years,  serving  this  congregation  two-thirds  of  the 
time.     The  balance  of  the  time  was  given  to  his  charge  at  Callender.  Iowa. 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  191 

In  1894  Rev.  Kris  Rosental  was  called  to  serve  the  congregation  as  pastor. 
Prior  to  the  calling  of  Rev.  Rosenthal  the  congregation  suffered  from  lack  of 
funds,  on  account  of  having  a  small  membership  and  most  of  these  in  very 
modest  circumstances.  During  the  years  1894  to  1897  there  was  a  goodly  increase 
in  membership.  At  this  time,  however,  there  arose  a  division  of  the  church,  a  few 
members  favoring  the  acquiring  of  property  on  the  east  side  of  the  Des  Moines 
river  for  the  purpose  of  erecting  a  church,  while  the  majority  favored  remaining 
on  the  west  side.  This  division  had  a  bad  effect  upon  the  congregation,  as  it  kept 
the  members  in  a  constant  state  of  agitation  and  gave  rise  to  many  an  unpleasant 
situation.  However,  this  movement  failed  in  its  purpose,  although  the  congrega- 
tion suffered  the  loss  of  several  members  on  its  account.  It  also  kept  many  away, 
who  would  otherwise  undoubtedly  have  joined. 

Rev.  X.  T.  Tuleen  became  pastor  in  1898.  In  1900,  the  church  received  all 
the  property  belonging  to  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Swan  Peterson,  upon  the  death  of  Mr. 
Peterson.  A  window  in  the  present  church  building  is  dedicated  to  their  mem- 
ory. The  money  realized  from  the  sale  of  this  property  was  used  to  pay  a  small 
debt  and  the  balance,  about  $400.00,  was  the  beginning  of  a  church  building  fund. 
Rev.  C.  S.  Renins  was  elected  pastor  in  1901,  and  Rev.  J-  A.  Borgstrom  in  1903. 

]\Iarch  15.  1904.  it  was  decided  to  begin  the  building  of  a  church,  on  a  lot, 
which  had  been  purchased  for  that  purpose  on  the  corner  of  Avenue  '"C  and  "J" 
street.  Gust  Alstrand.  William  Larson,  L.  J.  Alstrand.  P.  J.  Swanson.  Ehner  H. 
Swanson.  Ole  Rosen,  Gust  A.  Olson.  John  Nelson,  and  August  Pehrsson,  were 
appointed  a  building  committee.  On  July  19,  1904.  the  president  of  the  Iowa 
Conference,  Rev.  A.  Norrbon.  laid  the  cornerstone  of  the  new  church. 

Work  on  the  new  church  progressed  nicely  and  it  was  finished  in  1905,  and 
was  dedicated  November  12.  1905,  by  Rev.  Norbon.  The  firsL  marriage  ceremony 
in  the  new  church  was  performed  September  zj .  1905.  when  Luther  J.  Alstrand 
and  Selma  Pehrsson  were  married.  The  first  burial  service  was  over  the  remains 
of  Mrs.  Charlotte  \'ieg,  one  of  the  pioneers  of  A\^ebster  county. 

August  2.  1906.  Rev.  J.  A.  Mattson  was  elected  as  pastor  of  the  church.  He 
was  followed  by  Dr.  Emil  Lund  August  31.  1910. 

The  church  celebrated  its  fortieth  anniversary  June  26,  19 10. 

During  the  year  191 1,  the  congregation  erected  a  new  parsonage  at  a  cost  of 
about  $4,000.00.  Since  the  year  1903,  the  church  has  made  its  greatest  gains,  many 
have  been  admitted  to  membership  and  the  progress  made  along  financial  lines 
has  been  truly  remarkable.  A  Sunday  school  was  organized  about  1S82.  The 
Ladies  Aid  Society  counts  its  existence  from  a  nuich  earlier  period.  The  Young 
Peoples  Society  was  organized  about  1893,  by  Rev.  A.  Gunberg.  The  Busy  Bee 
Society  was  organized  by  Mrs.  Gust  Alstrand  about  1898.  These  societies  are  of 
inestimable  value  in  the  work.  The  writer  has  avoided  as  much  as  possible 
special  mention  of  any  particular  person  connected  with  the  work,  as  in  order  to 
do  justice  to  the  splendid  workers,  and  the  sacrifices  which  they  made,  it  would 
make  a  volume  in  itself.  However,  the  reader  will  jjlease  pardon  the  one 
exception  in  referring  to  Mr.  ( iustaf  Alstrand.  who  is  the  only  one  retaining  a 
membership  in  the  church,  who  was  one  of  the  original  organizers.  Much  credit 
is  due  to  ]\Ir.  Alstrand  for  the  work  done  by  him,  and  his  wife  (Mrs.  Sophia  L. 
Alstrand,  who  died  March  21.   toti).     Her  devotion  and  interest  in  the  cause 


192  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

never  ceased  until  her  death,  and  his  still  continues  an  active  force  in  the  work  of 
the  congregation. 

Dr.  Emil  Lund,  the  present  pastor,  is  a  splendid  man  of  God,  working  unself- 
ishly and  well  that  the  work  of  the  church  may  not  cease  but  attain  a  greater 
state  of  perfection. 

SWEDISH    BETHLEHEM    CHURCH 

In  1901,  a  part  of  the  congregation  of  the  First  Swedish  Lutheran  church, 
consisting  principally  of  the  members  living  on  the  east  side  of  the  Des  Moines 
river,  withdrew,  and  forming  a  new  organization,  known  as  the  Swedish  Bethle- 
hem church,  erected  a  church  building  on  the  corner  of  First  avenue  north  and 
Eleventh  street.  The  building  was  dedicated  in  1902,  and  Rev.  C.  E.  Renins  was 
the  first  pastor.  He  was  followed  by  Rev.  G.  E.  Thimmell  and  Rev.  C.  A. 
Carlson.  The  present  pastor,  Rev.  Nels  Gibson,  began  his  pastorate  in  1911. 
The  society  has  just  completed  building  a  fine  parsonage  at  No.  4,  Johnson  place. 

SALVATION    ARMY 

The  Salvation  Army  first  began  work  in  Fort  Dodge  in  1891.  Their  first 
barracks  were  in  an  old  frame  building  on  the  southeast  corner  of  First  avenue 
south  and  Sixth  street.  \\  hen  this  building  was  torn  down  the  Army  moved 
their  barracks  to  the  old  Congregational  church  building  on  Upper  Central  avenue 
and  remained  there  until  the  fall  of  1912.  During  the  time  that  the  building  was 
used  by  the  Salvation  Army,  it  was  the  regular  voting  place  for  the  Third  ward  of 
Fort  Dodge.  When  the  building  was  torn  down  to  make  room  for  the  Carter 
building,  the  Army  moved  to  their  present  quarters  at  No.  18  North  Seventh 
street. 

SECOND    BAPTIST    CHURCH 

The  Second  Baptist  church  (colored)  has  a  small  frame  churchi  building  on 
the  corner  of  Nineteenth  street  and  Fourth  avenue  south.  They  have  no  regular 
pastor. 

THE    WEBSTER    COUNTY    BIBLE    SOCIETY 

The  Webster  County  Bible  Society  is  the  oldest  society  in  Webster  county,  still 
in  existence.  The  first  meeting  of  the  society  was  held  October  7,  1858,  and  the 
following  ofticers  were  elected:  William  Williams,  president;  C.  C.  Carpenter, 
vice  president ;  Stephen  B.  Ayers,  secretary ;  Samuel  Rees.  treasurer.  A  consti- 
tution was  adopted  and  an  oflfering  of  $14.25  was  made  to  the  work.  The  fol- 
lowing counties  were  embraced  in  the  association :  Webster.  Calhoun,  Humboldt, 
Pocahontas.  Kossuth.  Palo  Alto.  Emmet.  Sac,  Buena  Vista  and  Dickinson.  A 
branch  .society  was  organized  at  Lumpkins  schoolhouse.  June  30,  1865.  In  Janu- 
ary, 1873.  branches  were  established  at  Otho  and  Tyson's  Alill. 

Y.  M.  c.  A. 

The  Young  Men's  Christian  Association  was  organized  in  1890.  The  first 
secretarv  was   lohn  Ruse.     The  second  was  Herbert  \\'ard.  who  ser\ecl  hut  a 


y.  M.  C.  A.  BUILDING,  FORT  DODGE,  BUILT  IN  1910 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  193 

short  time,  and  was  followed  by  A.  W.  Braily.  The  society  was  in  a  prosperous 
condition  until  January  17,  1893,  when  the  building  in  which  the  rooms  were 
located  was  destroyed  by  fire.  This  made  a  heavy  loss  as  the  furniture  was  not 
insured.  Mr.  Charles  B.  Hall,  a  Fort  Dodge  boy,  began  the  work  of  reorgani- 
zation. Rooms  were  secured  on  the  corner  of  Ninth  and  Central  avenue.  Mr. 
Hall  served  as  secretary  until  June  15.  1895,  when  he  resigned  and  was  succeeded 
by  Mr.  John  H.  Fellingham. 

In  February,  1898,  quarters  consisting  of  eight  large  rooms  were  secured  in 
the  Sanderson  block  and  was  fitted  up  at  an  expenditure  of  $1,600.  A  gymnasium 
was  added,  January,  1899.  At  a  large  banquet  held  in  the  Armory,  October  18, 
1909,  plans  were  made  and  subscription  lists  were  started  for  a  new  building. 
The  site  opposite  the  Carnegie  library  was  donated  by  O.  M.  Oleson. 

Work  on  the  new  building  was  begun  in  the  spring  of  1910,  and  the  building 
was  opened  February  15.  1911.  It  is  a  three-story  and  basement  structure,  and 
is  one  of  the  most  completely  equipped  Y.  M.  C.  A.  buildings  in  Iowa,  costing 
about  $90,000  for  the  site,  building  and  equipment. 

C.  D.  Case  is  president  of  the  board  of  directors.  The  present  general  secre- 
tary is  F.  W.  Mahlke,  with  George  H.  Cochburn,  assistant,  and  J.  T.  Carley, 
physical  director. 

Y.  w.  c.  A. 

The  Young  Woman's  Christian  Association  was  organized  July  8,  1909.  Mrs. 
J.  P.  Dolliver  was  the  first  president  and  served  until  October,  1910,  when  she 
resigned  and  Mrs.  G.  S.  Ringland  was  elected  and  still  holds  the  ofiice.  The  work 
was  conducted  for  a  time  in  the  frame  building  just  north  of  the  Commercial 
National  Bank  building.  In  the  fall  of  1909  the  Reynolds  property  on  the  cor- 
ner of  First  avenue  north  and  Ninth  street  was  purchased,  and  became  the  asso- 
ciation home.  At  the  time  of  buying  the  location,  $13,000.00  of  the  purchase  price 
was  raised  by  subscriptions,  of  which  $10,000.00  was  paid  for  the  site.  Later  the 
lot  adjoining  on  the  west  was  purchased  at  a  cost  of  $4,500.00.  To  do  this,  it 
was  necessary  to  place  a  mortgage  of  $1,500.00  on  the  lot.  The  last  payment 
on  this  mortgage  was  made  January  17,  191 3.  The  event  was  celebrated  on 
the  twenty-first  of  the  same  month  by  a  large  banquet  at  which  covers  were 
laid  for  two  hundred.  Dr.  Sarah  Kime  had  charge  of  the  ceremony  of  "burn- 
ing the  mortgage."  Miss  Lynn  Anderson  acted  as  toastmistress,  and  toasts 
were  given  by  Miss  Helen  Williams,  Miss  Marcia  Mitchell,  Miss  Hazel  Davis, 
and  Miss  Fay  Hellings,  Mrs.  Frank  Gates,  Mrs.  J.  F.  Russell,  Mrs.  E.  G. 
Larson,  Mrs.  W.  H.  Blakely,  Mrs.  A.  D.  McQuilkin,  and  Miss  Florence  Rich. 

The  present  officers  are :  Mrs.  G.  S.  Ringland,  president ;  Mrs.  J.  I.  Rut- 
ledge,  first  vice  president ;  Mrs.  E.  H.  \\'illiams,  second  vice  president ;  Mrs. 
W.  H.  Blakely,  corresponding  secretary ;  Mrs.  C.  V.  Findlay,  recording  sec- 
retary, and  Dr.  Sarah  Kime,  treasurer.  The  board  of  directors  consists  of 
Mesdames  Anna  Beatty,  W.  H.  Blakely,  C.  V.  Findlay,  J;  F.  Russell,  E.  H. 
\\^illiams,  D.  M.  Woodard,  George  H.  Williams,  F.  B.  Olney,  G.  L.  Lindquist, 
and  Phillip  Dorr. 

Miss  Mary  Conlee  was  the  first  secretary.  She  was  followed  by  Miss  Joy 
Secor,  through  whose  efiforts  the  association  was  put  on  a  good  foundation. 
Miss  Secor  resigned  in  the  summer  of   1912,  and  at  present.  Miss  Lynn  Ander- 


194  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

son  is  acting  secretary,  and  who,  since  the  organization  of  the  association,  has 
been  physical  director.  During  the  year  1912-13,  there  were  one  hundred  and 
twenty-six  enrolled  in  this  department.  This  enrollment  is  divided  into  the 
following  classes:  Business  girls,  forty-eight;  high  school  girls,  eleven;  juniors, 
twenty-five ;  college  girls,  seven ;  children,  twenty-two.  Since  the  association 
has  been  established  over  two  hundred  girls  have  been  helped  every  year.  The 
present  membership  is  seven  hundred. 


CHAPTER  XVI 
PUBLIC  BUILDINGS  AND  PARKS 

BUILDING  THK  FIRST  COURTHOUSE COUNTY  SEAT  FIGHT  RENEWED CROWDED   CON- 
DITION   OF    THE    COUNTY    BUILDING NEW    BUILDING    BECOMES    A    NECESSITY 

WRECKING  OF   THE  OLD   AND   BUILDING  OF   THE   NEW "tHE  OLD   SHACK'' — THE 

CARNEGIE   LIBRARY FORT   DODGE    POSTMASTERS THE   PARKS. 

WEBSTER   COUNTY    COURTHOUSES 

The  population  of  \\'el)ster  county  in  1859,  according  to  an  old  manuscript, 
had  reached  about  4,500-  The  census  returns  for  that  year,  however,  show  but 
2,596.  Whichever  may  be  correct,  a  courthouse  was  needed,  and  had  been 
talked  of  ever  since  the  locating  of  the  county  seat  at  Fort  Dodge.  The  ques- 
tion of  the  building  was  submitted  to  the  voters  the  first  Monday  in  April,  1859, 
and  carried  by  a  majority  of  200. 

Webster  county's  title  to  her  first  courthouse  site  in  Fort  Dodge,  and  which 
is  still  the  present  site,  bears  date  of  August  20,  1858.  The  grantor  is  Jesse 
Williams,  trustee,  by  his  attorney  in  fact,  William  \\' illiams.  The  name  of  John 
F.  Duncombe  appears  in  the  transaction,  as  the  notary  whose  seal  was  affixed  to 
the  document. 

The  contract  for  the  new  courthouse  was  let  by  the  county  judge,  L.  L. 
Pease,  to  Jenkins  and  Alerritt,  and  afterwards  they  sublet  to  Sweeney  and  Tier- 
ney.  The  original  contract  price  was  $39,450.00.  To  this  had  been  added  several 
items  making  the  figure  just  a  little  within  the  $50,000  limit  set  in  the  proposi- 
tion to  build.  The  designs  for  the  building  were  drawn  by  F.  V.  Lambert. 
Various  changes  were  made,  howe^  er,  before  the  building  was  completed,  so  that 
it  is  doubtful  if  the  architect  could  recognize  his  design  in  the  finished  product. 
The  corner  stone  of  the  building  was  laid  May  8,  1859. 

No  sooner  was  the  building  begun,  however,  than  trouble  commenced.  Some 
of  the  architect's  plans,  as  for  example  an  immense  cupola,  nearly  as  large  as  the 
roof,  were  found  impracticable.  The  stone  called  for  in  the  specifications  could 
not  be  furnished.  The  designs  were  constantly  undergoing  change.  No  one 
seemed  to  know  just  what  was  wanted.  Many  mistakes  were  made,  although 
it  is  probable  that  the  most  of  them  were  those  of  head  and  not  of  heart.  The 
soil  was  too  poor  for  much  graft  to  thrive.  It  was  difficult  to  get  labor  or 
material.  The  lack  of  funds  to  carry  on  the  work  proved  a  most  serious  problem. 
The  animosities  of  the  county  seat  fight  were  still  active.  The  time  of  comple- 
tion had  been  extended  two  years  and  yet  the  first  story  was  but  finished.  For 
eight  months  no  work  had  been  done,  while  the  contractors  were   in   the  east 

195 


196  *       HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

vainly  endeavoring  to  raise  money.  Already  the  difficulties  had  gone  into  the 
courts.  County  warrants  v>'ere  down  to  twenty-five  cents  on  the  dollar,  and  the 
county  bonds  could  not  be  sold.  The  original  contractors  felt  that  they  must 
abandon  the  task;  and  to  quote  the  words  of  Mr.  Duncombe  used  in  his  argu- 
ment in  the  cast  of  Webster  County  vs.  Snell  &  Taylor  et  al :  *Tt  seemed  to 
the  faithful  few,  who  had  worked  so  hard,  that  it  would  be  a  monument  to 
their  folly." 

It  was  at  this  point  that  Thomas  Snell  of  the  firm  of  Snell  &  Taylor,  con- 
tractors, was  urged  by  the  leading  citizens  of  Fort  Dodge  to  undertake  the 
work.  This  he  finally  consented  to  do,  and  the  contract  was  assigned  to  his 
firm,  and  by  them  completed. 

Yet  with  the  new  contractors  the  building  did  not  go  on  so  smoothly :  The 
office  of  county  judge  had, been  displaced  by  a  board  of  supervisors.  The  people 
at  large  had  become  dissatisfied  with  the  slow  progress  and  many  changes.  In 
the  beginning  of  the  year  1861,  the  newly  created  board  of  supervisors  met  in  the 
then  nearly  completed  building  and  refused  to  recognize  any  of  the  acts  or  expendi- 
tures of  the  county  judge  whom  they  had  displaced.  That  official  was  even 
accused  of  being  in  collusion  with  the  contractors  with  intent  to  defraud.  The 
board  not  only  refused  to  accept  the  work  done  or  pay  for  the  same ;  but  refused 
repeatedly  all  ofters  of  settlement  by  arbitration  or  compromise  offered  by  Snell 
&  Taylor.  Again  the  matter  went  to  the  district  court  in  the  case  of  Webster 
County  vs.  Snell  &  Taylor  et  al.  John  Garaghty  appeared  for  the  plaintiff  and 
John  F.  Duncombe  for  the  defendant.  Again  the  county  seat  fight  was  raked 
up;  and  again,  in  spite  of  the  decision  of  the  supreme  court  of  Iowa,  the  legality 
of  township  90  being  a  part  of  Webster  county  was  attacked.  Mr.  Duncombe's 
argument  in  the  court  was  presented  in  his  own  handwriting,  and  is  a  most  mas- 
terly plea  for  law  and  reason. 

At  last,  worn  out  with  fighting,  these  men  came  to  their  senses.  The  difficul- 
ties were  adjusted  and  the  county  seat  fight  was  ended.  Looking  back  at  their 
acts  we  find  the  reason  for  them  to  be  largely  because  of  the  bitter  personal 
feelings  aroused  in  the  county  seat  fight.  For  the  time  being  those  personal 
feelings  overcame  their  better  reasoning.  No  braver,  truer,  more  honest  pioneers 
ever  founded  a  community  than  those  who  founded  ours.  Their  sterling  strength 
made  them  in  anger  the  more  bitter. 

The  courthouse  as  finally  turned  over  to  the  county  was  a  plain,  two  story' 
stone  building,  fifty  by  one  hundred  feet  in  size.  The  basement  was  used 
for  the  count}'  jail,  the  first  floor  for  offices,  and  the  second  floor  for  the  court- 
room and  court  offices.  This  building  during  its  entire  existence  was  being 
remodeled  and  repaired.  After  a  numl^er  of  years  a  clock  tower  was  added, 
and  the  stairway  leading  to  the  courtroom  was  changed.  Still  later  rooms  were 
fitted  up  for  the  federal  court  offices. 

But  all  these  changes  could  not  keep  pace  with  the  growth  of  the  county. 
The  county  superintendent's  office  was  forced  out  and  across  the  street  to  the 
Doud  block.  In  1885  Judge  Henderson  of  the  ditsrict  court  declared  the  jail 
quarters  unsanitary  and  ordered  the  prisoners  confined  in  the  Hamilton  county 
jail.  In  view  of  this  latter  condition.  Captain  S.  J.  Benett,  a  member  of  the 
Board  of  Supervisors,  introduced  a  resolution  before  that  body  calling  for  a  vote 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  197 

upon  a  three  mill  tax  levy  to  build  a  jail.  On  the  first  submission  to  the  voters  of 
the  county   it   was  lost ;  but   the   next  year  upon   resubmission   it   was   carried. 

The  jail  when  constructed  was  of  brick,  two  stories  in  height,  and  standing  at 
the  southeast  corner  of  the  courthouse.  It  contained  four  cells  and  corridors, 
which  could  also  be  used  for  the  honest  prisoners.  The  building  was  not  the 
most  confining  and  several  deliveries  were  made  out  of  it. 

The  changes  in  the  courthouse  were  but  temporary  makeshifts.  The  condi- 
tions were  still  crowded.  During  the  last  session  of  the  Board  of  Supervisors  for 
the  vear  1908,  and  the  January  session  of  the  following  year,  the  board  were 
besieged  with  petitions  from  every  county  officer  telling  of  the  crowded  and 
unsafe  condition  of  the  county  vaults.  A  new  courthouse  seemed  absolutely  nec- 
essary. A  committee  consisting  of  S.  J-  Benett,  Andrew  Hannon,  Swan  John- 
son, and  T.  J.  Ryan  were  appointed  by  t\ve  board  to  investigate  the  conditions  and 
to  make  a  report  at  the  April  session.  At  this  session  the  committee  reported 
in  favor  of  building  a  new  courthouse.  The  board,  however,  took  no  action  upon 
the  matter  during  that  session.  Again  in  September  the  committee  reported  in 
favoi;  of  a  new  building  and  most  strongly  urged  that  it  be  started  at  once.  This 
time  the  board  unanimously  adopted  the  resolution  and  ordered  it  submitted  to 
the  voters  at  the  general  election  to  be  held  November  7,  1899.  The  vote  stood 
2,394  for  and  1,146  against,  being  a  majority  of  1,248  in  favor  of  building. 

]\Iany  people  favored  the  construction  of  the  new  building  upon  a  larger 
site,  and  for  this  reason  wanted  the  old  site  sold  and  a  new  one  purchased  with 
the  proceeds.  Investigation,  however,  showed  that  the  deed  by  which  the  county 
acquired  the  site,  made  it  revert  back  to  the  original  owner,  when  it  ceased  to 
be  used  for  courthouse  purposes.  Rather  than  lose  this  valuable  property  it 
was  deemed  best  to  build  upon  the  old  site. 

Plans  for  the  new  building  were  submitted  to  the  board  February  i,  1900. 
After  a  careful  consideration  those  submitted  bv  H.  C.  Koch  &  Co..  of  Milwau- 
kee.  were  accepted.  Later  the  contract  for  the  building  was  let  to  the  Northern 
Building  Company  of  Minneapolis  at  their  bid  of  $99,720.00  and  Mr.  C.  B.  Hepler 
of  Fort  Dodge  was  appointed  as  superintendent  of  construction.  The  contract 
called  for  the  completion  of  the  building  by  November  i,  190 1.  This  time  was 
later  extended  to  March  i,  1902.  The  formal  dedication  of  the  building  was  held 
Friday,  September  12,  1902,  and  on  the  following  Monday  the  county  officials 
moved  into  their  new  home.  The  building  was  accepted  bv  the  board  October 
II,  1902. 

While  the  building  operations  were  going  on.  provision  had  to  be  made  for 
temporary  quarters.  District  court  was  held  in  the  federal  courtroom  in  the 
United  States  postoffice  building.  The  offices  of  the  sherifif  and  county  surveyor 
were  moved  across  the  street  into  the  Reynolds  block.  The  county  attorney  and 
superintendent  of  schools  already  had  offices  outside  the  building.  For  the 
others  a  temporary  one  story  structure  was  erected  at  the  corner  of  7th  street 
and  I  St  avenue  north.  The  contract  for  this  was  let  to  G.  Proeschold  at  a  cost 
of  $1,275.00.  This  building,  familiarly  known  as  "The  Shack,"  was  in  use  from 
March.  1900.  to  September,  1902.  It  consisted  of  four  offices,  behind  each  of 
which  was  a  vault  for  the  records.  Beginning  on  the  west,  these  offices  were : 
auditor,  treasurer,  clerk  of  courts,  and  recorder. 

The  wrecking  of  the  old  courthouse  was  done  by  C.  W.  Ackerman  at  the 


198  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

contract  price  of  $800.00.  From  the  wreckage  was  built  the  temporary  offices. 
The  remainder  of  the  material  was  sold.  The  total  cost  to  the  county  of  these  two 
transactions,  the  wreckage  of  the  old  and  the  constructing  of  the  temporary,  was 
but  $20.40.  This  splendid  achievement  was  due  to  the  work  of  Captain  S.  J- 
Bennett,  chairman  of  the  Iniilding  committee.  To  him  was  also  due  in  the  largest 
measure  the  successful  completion  of  the  new  building.  He  devoted  practically 
his  entire  time  to  the  task ;  and  in  the  efficient  public  work,  which  he  did.  he  won 
the  approval  of  every  loyal  citizen  and  taxpayer  of  the  county. 

On  Thursday  evening,  September  11,  1902,  the  county  officers  were  all  at 
home  in  their  new  quarters,  and  the  brilliantly  lighted  building  was  filled  with 
throngs  eager  to  view^  the  new  courthouse.  During  the  evening  a  concert  was 
given  by  the  Fort  Dodge  Military  Band.  The  formal  dedication  was  held  the 
next  morning.  Special  trains  brought  people  from  all  parts  of  the  county.  Rev. 
G.  \y.  Pratt,  pastor  of  the  First  Methodist  church,  opened  the  exercises  with 
prayer.  Senator  Jonathan  P.  Dolliver  acted  as  presiding  officer  and  made  the 
first  address.  He  was  followed  by  Senator  T.  D.  Healy,  and  Hon.  R.  M.  \\'right. 
The  addresses  were  made  from  the  corridor  in  front  of  the  auditor's  office.  Again 
in  the  evening  the  courthouse  was  kept  open,  as  many  had  been  unable  to  see 
it  the  evening  before. 

Proud  as  were  many  of  the  younger  citizens  of  the  county  of  the  structure, 
which  they  had  helped  to  build,  their  pride  could  not  equal  that  of  those  pioneers, 
who  had  outlived  the  decay  of  two  courthouses,  and  who  out  of  the  wildriess 
had  wrought  the  means  with  which  to  frame  the  magnificent  county  home.  They 
were  the  true  builders,  those  others  of  a  later  date  but  hewers  of  stone  and 
carriers  of  mortar. 

CARNEGIE  FREE  PUBLIC  LIBR.'KRY 

The  Fort  Dodge  Library  Association  was  organized  May  i,  1874.  The 
officers  of  the  Association  for  the  first  year  were  as  follows:  President.  Geo. 
B.  Reynolds;  vice  president,  John  Doud,  Jr.;  secretary,  Marie  B.  Welles;  treas- 
urer, William  Pierson;  librarian,  W.  H.  Johnson;  board  of  directors,  George  W. 
Bassett,  N.  M.  Page,  Airs.  Louise  A.  Alitchell,  Mrs.  L.  C.  Littel,  A.  W.  Stuart, 
John  F.  Duncombe,  Mrs.  M.  D.  O'Connell. 

Its  financial  nucleus  was  a  subscription  of  $216.00,  raised  by  a  committee  of 
ladies,  the  contributions  to  which  were  made  by  sixty-three  gentlemen  and 
twenty-seven  ladies.  A  room  suitable  for  library  purposes  was  placed  at  the 
disposal  of  the  Association  free  of  rent,  by  Geo.  W.  Bassett  and  W.  H.  Johnston, 
and  the  services  of  the  librarian,  W.  H.  Johnston,  were  volunteered,  the  library  to 
be  open  for  drawing  books  three  hours  in  the  afternoon  and  evening  of  Friday 
every  week,  so  that  all  the  expense  incurred  for  starting  the  library  was  for  a 
book-case,  a  book  in  which  to  keep  an  account  of  the  books  loaned,  and  station- 
erv.  About  ninety  volumes  of  miscellaneous  books  and  a  large  number  of 
public  documents,  which  had  been  the  property  of  a  Young  Men's  Christian 
Association  in  Fort  Dodge,  were  also  turned  over  to  the  Association. 

The  first  year  about  $250  was  paid  out  for  books,  purchasing  about  200 
volumes.  In  May,  1875,  the  Association  became  an  incorporated  body.  In 
November,  1883,  the  first  catalogue  was  issued,  cataloguing  2,110  volumes. 

At  the  semi-annual  meeting  held  November,  1887,  the  ladies  proposed  holding 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  199 

a  carnival  for  the  l)enefit  of  the  library,  which  was  successfully  carried  out  in 
April.  1888.  A  three  days'  carnival  was  held,  with  a  musical  entertainment  each 
evening,  closing  with  a  fine  rendering  of  "The  Mikado"  on  the  third  night.  The 
net  proceeds  of  the  carnival  were  $542.  enabling  the  association  to  pay  ofif  an 
indebtedness  of  $306,  and  leaving  $236  for  the  purchase  of  new  books. 

At  the  annual  meeting  held  in  Alay,  1889,  the  association,  feeling  that  all 
had  been  done  by  them  as  an  association  that  could  reasonably  be  done,  decided 
to  make  another  and  more  determined  effort  to  get  the  common  council  of  the 
city  of  Fort  Dodge  to  make  an  appropriation  to  aid  in  establishing  and  main- 
taining a  free  public  library  in  said  city.  Authority  to  do  this  had  previously 
been  given  at  a  city  election  held  in  ]\Iarch,  1884,  by  a  majority  of  nearly  four  to 
one.  but  had  never  been  exercised  on  account  of  lack  of  funds. 

AI.  F.  Healy,  W.  H.  Johnston  and  Frank  Farrell  were  appointed  a  committee 
to  appear  before  the  city  council  and  urge  them  to  make  an  appropriation  in  aid 
of  the  library,  with  the  result  that  December  i,  1889,  an  arrangement  was  made 
that  the  city  make  an  appropriation  to  support  the  library  for  five  years,  the 
same  to  be  conducted  by  a  committee  of  three  from  the  council  and  three  from 
the  association,  and  W.  H.  Johnston,  librarian. 

January  i,  1890'  it  was  opened  as  a  free  public  library,  open  for  the  drawing 
of  books  on  every  A\'ednesday  and  Saturday  afternoon  and  evening  from  2  to 
6  o'clock,  and  from  7  to  9  o'clock  P.  M. 

January  i,  1895,  the  library  was  turned  over  to  the  city  and  came  under  the 
full  control  of  the  city,  anda.board  of  nine  trustees  was  appointed  for  the 
same  under  the  law  of  1894.  W.  H.  Johnston  retired  from  the  position  of  libra- 
rian, which  he  had  held  for  more  than  twenty  years,  and  Airs.  J.  M.  Carpenter 
was  elected  to  the  office. 

In  the  year  1900,  a  movement  was  started  for  the  erection  of  a  library  build- 
ing. The  old  Sherman  property  on  First  avenue  north  had  been  purchased  by 
several  prominent  citizens  of  Fort  Dodge,  and  was  oft'ered  by  them  as  a  site  for 
a  library  building.  The  city  also  levied  a  tax  for  library  purposes,  that  would 
provide  an  annual  income  of  about  $3,000.00.  It  was  at  this  time  that  x\ndrew 
Carnegie,  the  great  iron  king,  was  giving  his  money  to  assist  in  the  building  of 
libraries  over  the  country.  It  was  thought  best  to  present  the  claims  of  Fort 
Dodge  to  the  philanthropist  and  to  ask  his  assistance.  Accordingly  M.  D.  O'Con- 
nell  and  George  E.  Roberts  called  upon  Mr.  Carnegie  and  secured  from  him  a 
promise  to  give  $30,000.00.  The  news  reached  Fort  Dodge  and  was  publicly 
announced  the  evening  before  Christmas.  \\'ith  the  opening  of  the  new  year 
plans  for  building  were  formed  and  the  work  started.  The  building  was  com- 
pleted in  1902  at  a  cost  of  about  $40,000.00. 

THE   FORT   DODGE   POSTOFFICE 

The  first  postoffice,  in  what  was  then  Webster  count}',  was  established  at 
Homer  in  1853.  Granville  Berkeley  was  the  first  postmaster.  He  kept  the 
office  in  his  house  and  the  mail  he  kept  in  a  box  under  his  bed.  In  case  he 
happened  to  be  out,  when  anyone  called  for  the  mail,  they  simply  pulled  out  the 
box  and  helped  themselves. 

The  Fort  Dodge  postoffice  was  established  the  next  year  and  Ala j or  William 


200  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Williams  was  appointed  the  first  postmaster,  the  date  of  his  appointment  being 
May  12,  1854.  Since  that  time  the  office  has  been  held  by  the  following  persons, 
together  with  the  date  of  their  appointment:  Charles  A.  Sherman,  (March  20, 
1861)  ;  Seeley  M.  Sherman,  (September  20,  1861);  Benjamin  F.  Cue,  (March 
13,  1865)  ;  David  J.  Gue,  (December  29,  1865)  5  Henry  A.  Piatt,  (September  5, 
1866)  ;  John  D.  Burkholder,  (March  26,  1869)  ;  Nelson  ]\I.  Page,  (February  3, 
1870)  ;  Patrick  Cain,  (May  5,  1885)  ;  Cyrus  C.  Carpenter,  (May  7,  1889)  ;  Charles 
F.  Duncombe,  (May  2t^,  1894)  ;  Susan  C.  Carpenter,  (June  2^^,  1898)  ;  Samuel  J. 
Robertson,   (January  31,  1907). 

The  present  postoffice  building  was  finished  during  the  year  191 1,  and  was 
first  used  on  the  first  day  of  November  of  that  year.  The  building  as  completed 
cost  $137,500.00.  The  building  is  used  both  for  postoffice  purposes  and  also 
as  a  federal  office  building.  Sessions  of  the  federal  court  are  held  here  twice  a 
year,  in  June  and  November.  There  are  five  rural  routes  out  of  Fort  Dodge, 
the  average  length  of  which  is  twenty- four  miles.  There  are  twenty-one  rural 
routes  starting  from  towns  in  the  county.  Besides  this  there  are  fourteen  routes 
that  serve  patrons  within  the  county.  The  total  rural  free  delivery  system  of 
Webster  county  covers  over  seven  hundred  miles.  The  postal  savings  bank  was 
established  November  4,  191 1,  and  the  parcel  post  January  i,  1913. 

FORT   DODGE    PARKS 

Webster  county  has  many  natural  parks  and  beauty  spots.  All  along  the  Des 
Moines  river  and  its  tributaries  are  found  many  ideal  places  for  picnics  and 
camping. 

Fort  Dodge  has  an  extensive  park  system.  On  the  south  side  of  the  city 
is  Oleson  Park,  a  wooded  tract  of  about  eighty  acres.  This  park  is  the  gift  of 
Hon.  O.  M.  Oleson.  On  the  north  side  of  the  city  is  Reynolds  Park,  the  gift 
of  Mr.  George  Reynolds.  Connecting  these  two  parks  is  the  Seventeenth  street 
boulevard.  Besides  this  there  are  a  number  of  smaller  parks  including  Craw- 
ford's Park,  Tower  Square,  Public  Square,  and  Duck  Island. 

The  Country  Club,  organized  in  191 1,  have  a  tract  of  twenty  acres  on  the  west 
side  of  the  river  overlooking  the  city.  Their  club  house  was  first  opened  during 
the  summer  of  1912. 

The  towns  of  Dayton,  Cowrie,  Duncombe.  and  Callender  all  liave  small  parks. 


CHAPTER  XVII 
WOMAN  AND  HER  CLUBS 

THE  WAHKONSA    CLUB THE   ART    CLUC THE    INGLESIDE    CLUB THE    ALPHA    CLUB 

THE    LTP-TO-DATE    CLUB DAUGHTERS    OF    THE    AMERICAN     RENOLUTION THE 

P.   E.   O. THE   woman's   CLUB OTHER  ORGANIZATIONS. 

THE    WAHKONSA    CLUB 

The  W'ahkonsa  club  is  the  oldest  woman's  literary  organization  in  Fort 
Dodge,  organizing  in  1885  under  the  name  of  the  "Wahkonsa  Literary  and  Scien- 
tific Circle."  A  few  years  after  when  giving  up  the  study  of  the  regular  chau- 
tauqua  course  they  called  themselves  the  Wahkonsa  club.  The  number  of  their 
members  is  limited  to  twenty-five.  Mrs.  T.  A.  Carpenter,  Mrs.  Anna  Woods 
and  Miss  M.  B.  Welles  are  charter  members  of  the  club,  taking  up  the  chau- 
tauqua  work  in  1885  and  graduating  in  1889.  Mrs.  E.  H.  Rich  later  took  the 
course  and  graduated.  The  club  on  January  9,  1899.  ^'^^s  elected  a  member  of 
the  General  Federation  of  Women's  clubs  from  which  they  withdrew  after  two 
years.  The  club  is  primarily  literary,  though  it  has  taken  an  active  part  in 
philanthropic  and  library  work  of  the  city.  Last  year  a  portrait  painting  of  the 
]\Iiss  Welles,  who  has  been  president  of  the  organization  for  the  past  fourteen 
years,  was  placed  by  the  club  members  in  the  general  reading  room  of  the  public 
library. 

THE   ART   CLUB 

The  Art  club  was  organized  June  8,  1900,  with  a  charter  membership  com- 
posed of  Mrs.  J.  G.  Piersol,  Mrs.  J.  F.  Monk,  Mrs.  E.  M.  Williams,  Mrs.  A. 
G.  Schill,  :\Irs.  C.  D.  Case,  Mrs.  F.  J.  Blake,  Mrs.  E.  B.  Wolvin,  Mrs.  A.  H. 
McCreight,  Mrs.  G.  L.  Hostetler,  Mrs.  C.  V.  Findlay,  Mrs.  E.  F.  Gates,  Mrs. 
C.  A.  Morrison,  Mrs.  H.  M.  Pratt  and  ]\Iiss  Martina  Larson. 

The  first  officers  of  the  club  were  Mrs.  A.  H.  ^IcCreight,  president  and 
Mrs.  LI.  ^L  Pratt,  secretary.  Since  the  organization  of  the  club  the  various 
presidents  have  been  Mrs.  A.  H.  McCreight,  Miss  Carrie  Haviland,  Mrs.  E.  M. 
Williams,  Mrs.  J.  F.  Monk,  Mrs.  W.  E.  Alton,  Mrs.  E.  M.  \'an  Patten,  Mrs. 
A.  G.  Schill.  The  present  membership  of  the  club  is  twenty-six.  There  has 
been  lost  by  death  three  members,  Mrs.  Effie  Scofield  Blake,  Mrs.  Clara  Heile- 
man  Peschau,  Mrs.  Louisa  Larson  Gates. 

The  officers  of  the  club  for  the  year  1912-13  are  Mrs.  J.  G.  Early,  president; 
Mrs.  Frank  Corey,  secretary  and  treasurer.  The  executive  committee  and 
vice  presidents  consist  of  Mrs.  J.  F.  Russell,  Mrs.  D.  W.  \\'oodward  and  Mrs. 

201 


202  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

T.  R.  Files.  The  program  committee  for  the  year  consists  of  ]\lrs.  J.  G.  Early, 
Mrs.  T-  F.  ]\Ionk  and  Mrs.  C.  D.  Case.  The  club  has  two  representatives  in  the 
\'isiting  Xurse  Association,  Mrs.  J.  F.  .Monk  and  Mrs.  Sam  McClure.  The 
course  of  study  for  the  year  has  been  Scottish  History  and  Travel  in  Italy. 
The  club  flower  is  iris  and  the  club  colors  are  white  and  gold.  The  motto  of  the 
club  is : 

"This  is  a  Women's  club,  a  haven  fair ; 
Where  toilers  drop  an  hour,  their  load  of  care." 

THE  INGLESIDE  CLUB 

The  Ingleside  clul)  was  organized  October  14,  1901,  with  a  charter  mem- 
bership composed  of  Mrs.  E.  N.  Coleman,  Mrs.  J.  B.  Butler,  J\lrs.  G.  F.  Gus- 
tafson,  Mrs.  T.  E.  Devereaux,  Mrs.  Robert  Evans,  ]\Irs.  S.  J.  Bennett,  Mrs. 
J.  L.  Strow%  Mrs.  L.  A.  Loomis.  Mrs.  John  Schaupp,  Mrs.  P.  M.  Mitchell,  Miss 
Jessie  Craig  and  i\Irs.  Mary  K.  Pingree.  The  first  officers  were  Mrs.*  E.  N. 
Coleman,  president;  Mrs.  Robert  Evans,  vice  president;  Mrs.  L.  A.  Loomis, 
secretary ;  and  Mrs.  T.  E.  Devereaux,  treasurer.  Since  the  organization  of  the 
club  the  various  presidents  in  their  order  have  been :  Mrs.  E.  N.  Coleman, 
Airs.  Robert  Evans,  Mrs.  Ernest  P.  Gates,  Mrs.  L.  A.  Loomis,  INIrs.  J.  K. 
AUine,  IMrs.  John  Schaupp,  ]\Irs.  E.  F.  Cook,  and  Mrs.  E.  H.  Johnson.  Mrs. 
L.  A.  Loomis  removed  from  Fort  Dodge  soon  after  her  election  to  the  office 
of  president,  and  Mrs.  J.  K.  AUine  was  elected  in  her  place.  At  the  present  time 
the  club  has  a  membership  of  nineteen.  The  officers  for  the  year  of  191 2- 13 
are  Mrs.  E.  H.  Johnson,  president;  Miss  Bertha  Laufersweiler,  vice  president; 
Mrs.  Beth  Meservey.  secretary,  and  Mrs.  W.  R.  Updegrafl:',  treasurer. 

The  Ingleside  club  belongs  to  the  Iowa  Federation  of  Women's  clubs.  In 
1907  they  were  represented  at  the  biennial  meeting  of  the  Federation  by  Mrs. 
J.  K.  Alline,  and  in  1909  and  191 1  by  Mrs.  J.  F.  Russell,  and  Mrs.  E.  F.  Cook. 
On  October  19,  1909,  in  connection  with  the  Up-to-Date  club  the  Ingleside  club 
entertained  the  Tenth  District  Federation  meeting  in  Fort  Dodge. 

Mrs.  R.  L.  Breed,  a  member  of  this  club  was  the  first  president  of  the  \'isit- 
ing  Nurse  Association  of  Fort  Dodge.  This  association,  which  is  supported 
by  the  various  women's  organizations  of  the  city  was  organized  at  a  meeting, 
which  was  held  at  the  invitation  of  the  Ingleside  club. 

THE    ALPHA    CLUU 

The  Alpha  club  was  organized  January  15.  1903.  Seven  ladies,  all  new 
comers  in  Fort  Dodge,  met  and  organized  themselves  into  a  club  which  they 
appropriately  called  Alpha.  One  of  the  laws  made  at  this  initial  meeting  was 
that  no  one  should  become  a  member  of  the  club  unless  she  was  a  stranger 
in  the  city.  The  charter  members  were  Airs.  E.  P.  Johnson,  Mrs.  William  Lamb, 
Mrs.  E.  K.  Rice.  Airs.  W.  J.  Suckow,  Airs.  W.  R.  Bates,  Airs.  \\\  \\'.  Crow 
and  Airs.  F.  F.  Clark. 

The  first  officers  of  the  club  were  Airs.  A\'illiam  Lamb,  president ;  Airs.  W.  J. 
Suckow,  vice  president;  Airs.  E.  P.  Johnson,  secretary.  Since  the  organization 
of  the  club  the  various  presidents  have  been  Airs.  William  Lamb,  Airs.  A.  D. 


FOET    DODGE   COUXTEY    CLUB,   OPENED    IN    1912 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  203 

AlcOuilkin,  Mrs.  E.  P.  Tinkham,  Mrs.  L.  W.  Wheeler,  Mts.  Harry  Beresford, 
Mrs.  W.  L.  Ballard,  Mrs.  Henry  Davidson  and  Mrs.  William  Benson.  The 
present  membership  of  the  club  is  fifteen. 

The  officers  of  the  club  for  the  year  1912-13  are  Mrs.  William  Benson, 
president;  ]\Irs.  Henry  Davidson,  vice  president;  Mrs.  W.  A.  Shepherd,  sec- 
retary and  treasurer ;  Mrs.  William  Merritt,  representative  to  the  Visiting 
Nurse  Association.  The  club  belongs  to  the  Iowa  Federation  of  Women's 
clubs.  Mrs.  \\'illiam  Benson  was  sent  as  a  representative  to  the  191 1  meeting, 
held  in  Boone,  Iowa.  Aside  from  their  literary  programs  and  social  gatherings 
the  principal  work  of  the  club  has  been  its  contributions  to  the  Visiting  Nurse 
Association.     The  club  motto  is  "Hold  thou  the  good ;  define  it  well." 

THE    UP-TO-DATE    CLUB 

The  Up-to-Date  club  was  organized  October  22,  1903,  with  a  charter  mem- 
bership composed  of  Airs.  W.  F.  Carver,  Airs.  W.  I.  Selby,  Airs.  F.  AT  Andrews, 
Mrs.  H.  L.  Scott,  Airs.  A.  Dahl,  Airs.  H.  J.  Leigh,  Airs.  Karl  Quist,  Airs  AI.  J. 
Rodney,  Airs.  W.  Winsell,  Airs.  B.  K.  Kilbourne,  Airs.  A.  B.  Hancock,  Airs. 
C.  Al.  Fullerton,  Mrs.  AI.  Cady,  Airs.  C.  H.  Churchill,  Airs.  W.  A.  Livingston, 
Mrs.  C.  A.  Alorrison  and  Airs.  O.  F.  Cady. 

The  first  officers  of  the  club  were  Airs.  W.  F.  Carver,  president,  and  Airs. 
W.  I.  Selby,  secretary.  Since  the  organization  of  the  club  the  various  presidents 
have  been  Airs.  W.  F.  Carver,  Airs.  A.  D.  AIcQuilkin,  Airs.  H.  A.  Cook,  Airs. 
A.  T.  Dahlin,  and  Airs.  Z.  W.  Thomas.  The  present  membership  of  the  club 
is  twenty-eight.  There  have  been  lost  by  death  two  members.  Airs.  Karl  Quist 
and  Airs.  W.  Winsell. 

The  officers  of  the  club  for  1912-13  are  Airs.  Z.  W.  Thomas,  president; 
Airs.  Kate  Hastings,  vice  president ;  Airs.  Frank  Boggs,  secretary ;  Airs.  Mar- 
shall Young,  treasurer;  Airs.  A.  T.  Dahlin,  club  reporter  and  Airs.  E.  P.  Tink- 
ham, representative  to  the  Visiting  Nurse  Association. 

The  Up-to-Date  club  belongs  to  the  Iowa  Federation  of  Women's  clubs. 
In  1909,  Mrs.  H.  A.  Cook  represented  the  club  at  the  State  Federation  meeting 
held  at  Davenport.  In  191 1,  Airs.  A.  T.  Dahlin  was  sent  as  a  representative 
to  the  meeting  in  Sioux  City.  The  club  each  year  sends  delegates  to  the  Tenth 
District  meetings  of  the  Federation.  October  19,  1909,  in  connection  with  the 
Ingleside  club,  the  Up-to-Date  club  entertained  the  Tenth  District  Federation 
meeting  in  Fort  Dodge.  The  Up-to-Date  club  contributed  to  the  Louisa  M. 
Alcott  Alemorial  fund.  Their  principal  work,  however,  is  in  assisting  the  work 
of  the  A'isiting  Nurse  Association  to  which  it  contributes  liberally  each  year. 

DAUGHTERS  OF  THE  AMERICAN  REVOLUTION 

The  Fort  Dodge  chapter  of  the  Daughters  of  the  American  Revolution  was 
organized  in  the  month  of  November,  1903,  at  the  home  of  Airs.  J.  C.  Cheney, 
and  was  chartered  the  following  year.  At  that  time  Airs.  Jonathan  P.  Dolliver 
held  the  office  of  national  historian.  In  this  capacity,  she  had  the  authority 
to  form  new  chapters,  and  install  their  officers.  Airs.  Dolliver  thus  had  the 
pleasure  of  instituting  the  chapter  of  the  D.  A.  R.  in  her  home  city. 

Vol.  I— 1  4 


204  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

The  first  officers  of  the  local  chapter  were:  Airs.  John  Schaupp,  regent; 
Airs.  J.  C.  Cheney,  vice  regent;  .Mrs.  W.  T.  Chantland,  recording  secretary; 
Mrs.  E.  A.  Armstrong,  treasurer;  Airs.  Charles  Wheeler,  registrar;  Airs.  Joe 
Wheeler,  historian.  The  charter  members  were :  Alesdames  J.  C.  Cheney ;  E.  A. 
Armstrong,  John  Schaupp,  Eliza  Hatch,  Joe  Brown,  J.  P.  DoUiver,  W.  T. 
Chantland,  H.  G.  Ristine,  C.  E.  Cohoon,  Emmetsburg;  Charles  A.  Eadie,  Alar- 
shalltow^n ;  Helen  Larrabee  Robbins,  Cedar  Rapids ;  Aliss  Lois  Kelley,  Rock 
Rapids,  and  Aliss  Anna  Larrabee,  Clermont.  The  office  of  regent  has  been  held 
by  Airs.  John  Schaupp,  Airs.  Jonathan  P.  DoUiver,  and  Airs.  Frank  Gates. 

The  officers  for  the  year  1912-13  are:  'Airs.  Frank  Gates,  regent;  Airs. 
Nettie  Guild,  vice  regent ;  Airs.  AI.  A.  Hurlbut,  recording  secretary ;  Airs.  Beth 
Aleservey,  corresponding  secretary ;  Airs.  J.  B.  Butler,  treasurer ;  Airs.  J.  W. 
Campbell,  registrar;  Airs.  J.  AI.  Schaupp,  historian;  Airs.  D.  AIcAIullan,  librarian, 
and  Airs.  C.  B.  Hepler,  custodian  of  the  flag. 

In  October,  1908,  the  state  convention  of  the  Daughters  of  the  American 
Revolution  was  entertained  by  the  Fort  Dodge  chapter.  At  this  meeting.  Airs. 
John  Schaupp  was  elected  state  historian. 

The  object  of  the  Daughters  of  the  American  Revolution  is  to  keep  alive 
the  spirit  of  patriotism,  to  preserve  the  deeds  of  our  ancestors  in  the  momentous 
time  of  the  American  Revolution,  and  to  preserve  historical  places,  monuments 
and  relics  of  the  past.  The  members  of  the  local  chapter  in  1909  placed  a 
flagpole  on  the  grounds  of  the  high  school.  In  1912,  the  chapter  secured  the  old 
Arnold  log  cabin  and  moved  it  to  Oleson  park,  where  it  has  been  restored  as 
near  as  possible  to  its  original  condition.  This  cabin  was  one  of  the  original 
buildings  of  the  fort,  when  Fort  Dodge  was  but  a  regular  army  post.  The 
cabin  originally  stood  upon  the  grounds  of  the  A\"ahkonsa  school.  The  erection 
of  the  new  school  building  in  1912  made  necessary  the  removal  of  the  old  cabin, 
which  at  the  time  was  the  home  of  the  Arnold  family.  The  Arnolds  had  covered 
the  sides  of  the  cabin  with  siding,  so  that  to  the  casual  observer  it  appeared  as 
ai|  ordinar}^  frame  house. 

THE  P.  E.   0. 

Thirty-four  years  ago  on  the  afternoon  of  January  21,  1878,  seven  girls,  in 
their  last  year  of  college  life,  looking  forward  with  regret  to  the  separation  that 
graduation  meant  to  them,  and  seeking  for  a  bond  that  would  strengthen  and 
maintain  their  mutual  friendship  formed  a  secret  society,  the  oath  of  which 
was  read  to  one  of  them,  who  in  turn  read  it  to  the  other  six.  Thus  a  society 
was  formed  that  was  destined  to  have  a  wide  influence  on  the  lives  of  women 
in  the  central  states  of  the  Union.  These  seven  charter  members  called  them- 
selves "P.  E.  O."  The  letters  are  mystic  and  no  one  save  a  duly  initiated  mem- 
ber knows  their  meaning.  Starting  with  seven,  the  society  now  numbers  over 
five  thousand  members  with  chapters  in  seventeen  states.  In  the  old  music 
room  of  the  chapel  of  Iowa  Wesleyan  University  this  society  was  born,  which 
stood  for  the  symbol  of  what  was  noble  and  lovely  and  desirable  in  their  life 
together;  and  their  purpose  was  to  preserve  and  strengthen  it. 

On  December  16,  1904,  a  chapter  was  formed  in  Fort  Dodge  with  Alesdames 
Albert  Strong,   Irving  Gates,  A.   H.   AlcCreight,   Ernest  Gates,  C.   L.   Granger, 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  205 

J.  B.  Butler,  E.  A.  Coleman  and  Fred  Haley,  as  charter  members.  The  mem- 
bership at  the  present  time  numbers  twenty-hve.  The  meeting,  at  which  the 
\\'oman's  club  of  Fort  Dodge  was  organized,  was  held  at  the  invitation  of  the 
P.  E.  O.     The  chapter  contributes  to  the  \'isiting  Nurse  Association. 

The  officers  for  the  year  1912-13  are:  Mrs.  J.  B.  Butler,  president;  Mrs. 
T.  E.  Devereaux,  vice  president;  Mrs.  Leone  Richards,  recording  secretary; 
]\Irs.  J.  K.  Alline,  corresponding  secretary;  Mrs.  J.  L.  Craig,  treasurer;  Mrs. 
W.  E.  ]\Iutz,  chaplain;  ]Mrs.  A.  D.  McOuilkin,  guard;  Miss  Harriet  M.  Ains- 
worth,  journalist,  and  ]\Irs.  J.  T.  Carmichael,  organist.  The  office  of  president 
of  the  local  chapter  has  been  held  by  Mrs.  Albert  Strong,  Mrs.  T.  E.  Devereaux, 
Mrs.  A.  D.  McOuilkin  and  Mrs.  Seth  Thomas. 

THE    WOMEX'S    CLUB 

The  Women's  club  of  Fort  Dodge,  Iowa,  was  organized  January  29,  1912, 
at  a  meeting  held  at  the  public  library  with  a  charter  membership  of  189.  Offi- 
cers for  the  year  were  elected  at  the  meeting  held  Febr  iary  13th,  as  follows: 
President,  Mrs.  Seth  Thomas ;  vice  president,  Mrs.  C.  A.  Claypool ;  second  vice 
president,  ]\Irs.  J.  G.  Early;  recording  secretary,  Mrs.  Maude  Hallock;  cor- 
responding secretary,  Mrs.  E.  ]\I.  Van  Patten ;  historian,  Miss  Mildred  Mar- 
quette. Directors  for  a  term  of  three  years :  Mrs.  Frank  Gates,  i\Irs.  J.  M. 
Schaupp  and  Mrs.  Henry  Irwin ;  for  a  term  of  two  years,  ^Irs.  W.  G.  Jankans, 
Mrs.  Albert  Strong  and  Miss  Blanche  McBane;  for  a  term  of  one  year,  Mrs. 
J.  B.  Butler,  Miss  ]\Iarie  Wright  and  Miss  Jessie  Harper.  At  this  same  meeting 
three  departments  were  organized  with  chairman  as  follows :  Civic  improve- 
ment, Mrs.  John  Rutledge;  child  welfare,  Mrs.  L.  W.  Wheeler;  city  beautiful. 
Miss  Saber  Nason.  September  the  24th  a  charity  department  was  added  with 
Mrs.  O.  M.  Oleson  as  chairman. 

These  departments  hold  meetings  regularly  each  month  as  does  also  the 
club,  who  meet  the  last  Tuesday  of  each  month.  The  club,  though  a  compara- 
tively new  organization,  has  accomplished  much  in  the  way  of  city  improve- 
ments. Mrs.  Carolyn  Bartlett  Crane  was  brought  to  the  city  through  the  efforts 
of  this  club  in  April,  just  preceding  clean-up  day  and  assisted  the  club  in  making 
a  social  survey. 

A  playground  was  established  back  of  the  Y.  M.  C.  A. ;  waste  paper  cans 
were  placed  along  the  principal  business  streets,  and  parent-teacher  meetings 
were  established.  Garden  and  flower  seeds  were  distributed  in  the  spring  to 
children  who  had  previously  done  the  required  amount  of  work,  thus  teaching 
the  youth  of  the  city  admiration  for  a  "City  Beautiful." 

The  charity  department  secured  Miss  Gladys  Welles  of  New  York  as  secre- 
tary of  their  department.  This  department,  however,  was  soon  combined  with 
the  Associated  Charities  and  Miss  Welles  became  field  secretary.  At  the  close 
of  the  first  year  the  club  has  a  membership  of  276. 

ORDER  OF  THE   EASTERN   STAR 

Aurora  Chapter  No.  311  O.  E.  S.  was  instituted  June  6,  1901,  by  Mrs.  Freda 
Opperheimer,    worthy    grand   matron    of    Iowa.      Carnation    Chapter    No.    165 


206  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

exemplified  the  ritualistic  work.  The  chapter  obtained  its  charter  October  23, 
1901.  R.  A.  Schroeder,  who  was  elected  the  first  patron,  was  chiefly  responsible 
for  its  organization.  Ten  of  the  charter  members  came  in  by  affiliation  as  fol- 
lows :  R.  A.  Schroeder,  W.  Frantz,  Elvine  Schroeder,  A.  J.  Bolster,  Helen  Bol- 
ster, Mrs.  Gertrude  Andrews,  ^Nfrs.  R.  A.  Schroeder,  ]\Irs.  W.  Frantz,  Mrs. 
Ella  Peterson,  Anna  Bolster  and  Olive  Bolster.  The  first  officers  were :  Worthy 
matron,  Mrs.  Flora  Preston ;  worthy  patron,  R.  A.  Schroeder ;  associate  matron, 
Gertrude  Andrews;  secretary,  INIiss  Elwine  Schroeder;  treasurer,  Harry  San- 
derson ;  conductress,  Mrs.  Francis  Frantz ;  associate  conductress,  Mrs.  Addie 
Peterson;  chaplain,  Mrs.  Hattie  Young.  Since  the  organization  of  the  chapter 
the  office  of  worthy  matron  has  been  filled  as  follows:  1901-02,  -Mrs.  Flora 
Preston;  1903-04,  Mrs.  Nettie  Cook;  1905-06,  Mrs.  Flora  B.  White;  1907-08, 
Mrs.  Minnie  Stewart;  1910,  ]\Irs.  Cora  Rowley;  1911,  Mrs.  Abigal  Biggs,  Mrs. 
Emma  Williams;  1912,  Mrs.  Emma  Williams.  The  elective  officers  for  the  year 
1913  are:  Worthy  matron,  ]\frs.  Emma  Williams;  worthy  patron,  W.  T.  Alstrand; 
associate  matron,  Mrs.  Millicent  M.  Wilson;  secretary,  Mrs.  Goldie  Miller;  treas- 
urer, Mrs.  Emma  Marsh;  conductress.  Mrs.  Mae  Townsend;  associate  conduct- 
ress, ]\Irs.  Esther  Shafifer;  chaplain,  Mrs.  Edith  L  Carver. 

THE  ASSOCIATED  CHARITIES 

The  Associated  Charities  of  Fort  Dodge  was  organized  October  i,  1897,  in 
the  old  Baptist  church  which  stood  on  the  present  site  of  the  Wahkonsa  Hotel, 
on  the  corner  of  Tenth  street  and  Central  avenue.  Rev.  Bovell,  at  that  time 
pastor  of  the  church,  presided  at  the  meeting  and  the  officers  elected  were :  Presi- 
dent, George  E.  Roberts;  vice  president.  Rev.  Bovell;  treasurer,  G.  S.  Ringland ; 
secretary.  Miss'  Springer. 

The  executive  committee  for  the  first  year  consisted  of  George  E.  Roberts, 
P.  M.  Mitchell,  Mrs.  Nettie  Guild,  Charles  Craft,  Mr.  Mater,  Mr.  Julius  and 
G.  S.  Ringland. 

Immediately  after  the  organization  the  society  secured  from  the  Minneapolis 
and  St.  Louis  railroad  use  of  a  number  of  vacant  lots  in  South  Fort  Dodge,  that 
has  been  known  since  as  the  "garden  patch,"  and  is  parceled  out  to  those  who 
wish  to  cultivate  it  under  the  direction  of  the  Associated  Charities.  A  nominal 
charge  of  one  dollar  is  made  to  pay  for  the  cost  of  plowing  and  harrowing  the 
ground.  While  in  some  instances  good  use  has  been  made  of  the  ground,  yet 
it  has  not  generally  been  by  the  very  poor  people,  but  by  the  thrifty,  industrious 
class,  who  are  already  paying  for  a  little  home.  As  a  means  of  assistance  to 
this  class  the  experiment  has  been  worth  while,  but  as  a  help  to  the  "destitute," 
it  has  not  proven  the  philanthropic  remedy  for  poverty.  The  supervision  of  the 
garden  patch  has  been  the  work  of  Webb  Vincent,  one  of  the  most  active  mem- 
bers of  the  society. 

Rev.  C.  H.  Remington,  former  rector  of  St.  Mark's,  was  very  zealous  and 
interested  in  the  work  during  his  residence  here  and  acted  as  president  for  some 
time.  P.  M.  Mitchell,  who  succeeded  Mr.  Roberts  as  president,  was  elected  in 
1 90 1  and  Dr.  P.  C.  Baird,  then  pastor  of  the  Presbyterian  church,  was  elected 
to  the  office  of  president  in  the  year  1904.     He  served  until  the  year  1906,  when 


OLESON  PARK.  FORT  DODGE.    CONCRETE  BRIDGE  BUILT  IN  1911 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  207 

Dr.  McCreight  was  elected  to  fill  the  vacancy  caused  by  the  resignation  of  Dr. 
Baird  and  has  held  the  office  ever  since. 

Contributions  to  the  society  have  been  voluntary,  but  have  always  been 
sufficient  to  meet  the  demands  of  the  society,  whose  aim  has  been  to  give  only 
temporary  relief,  leaving  "chronic"  cases  to  the  county.  The  Thanksgiving  Day 
offering  at  the  union  church  service  has  each  year  been  contributed  to  the  funds 
of  the  society.  The  B.  P.  O.  E.  have  also  contributed  to  the  work,  on  two 
occasions  giving  the  proceeds  from  special  entertainments,  one  of  which  was  the 
production  of  Julius  Caesar. 

When  the  \'isiting  Xurse  Association  was  formed  in  Fort  Dodge,  Miss 
Bertha  Middlemas,  the  nurse  in  charge  of  the  work,  proved  very  valuable  in 
investigating  and  bringing  cases  to  the  attention  of  the  Associated  Charities. 

With  the  organization  of  the  Women's  Club  of  Fort  Dodge,  in  1912,  a 
department  of  charities  was  formed  and  Miss  Gladys  Welles  of  New  York,  was 
hired  as  secretary.  In  December,  1912,  the  department  was  combined  with 
the  Associated  Charities,  and  officers  were  elected  as  follows :  A.  H.  McCreight, 
president;  Mrs.  J.  M.  Schaupp,  vice  president;  C.  M.  Rudesill,  secretary;  P.  M. 
Doud,  treasurer;  Mrs.  O.  ^I.  Oleson,  chairman  of  executive  committee,  and  Miss 
Gladys  Welles,  general  secretary. 

WEBSTER  COUNTY   HISTORICAL  SOCIETY 

The  inception  of  the  Webster  County  Historical  Society  was  the  usual  one, 
that  of  a  small  gathering  of  a  few  interested  ones  at  the  call  of  one  just  a  little 
more  interested  than  the  rest.  The  first  meeting  was  held  in  the  studio  of 
Mr.  H.  O.  Baldwin,  June  26,  1906.  At  this  meeting  arrangements  were  made 
for  a  meeting  at  a  later  date  for  the  purpose  of  organization.  This  meeting  was 
held  July  10,  1906,  and  at  that  time  a  constitution  and  by-laws  were  adopted 
and  officers  elected.  The  first  officers  were :  Mrs.  Jonathan  P.  Dolliver,  presi- 
dent;  H.  O.  Baldwin,  vice  president;  Mrs.  C.  B.  Hepler,  secretary  and  treasurer, 
and  H.  ^l.  Pratt,  curator.  The  board  of  directors  consisted  of  the  president, 
secretary  and  curator  and  two  additional  members,  O.  M.  Oleson  and  L.  S.  Coffin. 
Since  that  time  the  office  of  president  has  been  filled  by  C.  V.  Findlay  and  Mrs. 
John  F.  Duncombe.  H.  ]\I.  Pratt  has  been  curator  of  the  society  since  its  organi- 
zation. The  present  officers  (1912-1913)  are:  Mrs.  John  F.  Duncombe,  presi- 
dent; Mrs.  C.  B.  Hepler,  vice  president;  Guy  Ryther,  secretary  and  treasurer, 
and  H.  M.  Pratt  curator;  and  the  additional  members  of  the  board  of  directors 
being  O.  M.  Oleson  and  C.  Y.  Findlay.  The  headquarters  of  the  society  are  in 
the  basement  of  the  public  library. 

The  first  work  of  the  society  was  the  establishment  of  the  custom  of  holding 
an  annual  Pioneers'  day  celebration  in  connection  with  the  Chautauqua  assembly. 
Through  the  kindness  of  the  Chautauqua  management,  it  has  been  possible  to  hold 
this  gathering  each  year.  The  first  observance  of  the  day  was  Tuesday,  August 
7,  1906.  The  occasion  was  in  the  nature  of  an  anniversary  of  the  arrival  of 
the  United  States  troops  at  Fort  Dodge  fifty-six  years  before.  In  the  forenoon 
a  short  program  of  pioneer  reminiscences  was  given  at  the  grovmds.  This  was 
followed  by  a  picnic  dinner.  The  afternoon  program  opened  with  the  ceremony 
of  raising  the  "Stars  and  Stripes"  on  the  new  flag  pole,  which  had  been  erected 


208  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

on  the  high  school  grounds  for  the  occasion^  and  which  is  still  in  use,  a 
monument  to  the  work  of  the  Fort  Dodge  chapter  of  the  D.  A.  R.  This  feature 
of  the  program  was  in  charge  of  the  D.  A.  R.,  assisted  by  the  members  of  the 
G.  A.  R.,  Company  G,  I.  N.  G.,  and  the  Fifty-sixth  Regiment  Band,  I.  N.  G. 
At  the  Chautauqua  grounds  military  maneuvers  were  held  by  the  militia  and 
a  concert  was  given  by  the  regimental  band.  The  address  of  the  afternoon  was 
delivered  by  Dr.  B.  F.  Shambaugh  of  the  University  of  Iowa,  and  Senator  Jona- 
than P.  Dolliver  acted  as  presiding  officer.  At  this  first  meeting  a  register  was 
kept  of  all  those  attending  who  had  been  residents  of  the  county  forty  years 
or  more.  This  custom  has  been  kept  up  each  year  since.  The  register  show§ 
a  good  attendance  at  each  annual  gathering.  On  account  of  lack  of  funds,  the 
society  has  done  little  in  the  way  of  publication.  The  energies  of  the  society 
have  been  spent  principally  in  keeping  up  the  observance  of  Pioneers'  day.  The 
society  is  an  auxiliary  member  of  the  State  Historical  Society  of  Iowa,  and 
was  represented  at  the  semi-centennial  celebration  of  the  adoption  of  the  Iowa 
constitution  held  at  Iowa  City,  March,  1907,  and  also  at  the  meeting  of  the 
Mississippi  A'alley  Historical  Society,  also  held  at  Iowa  City,  May,  1910. 

FORT    DODGE    COMMERCIAL    CLUB 

The  Fort  Dodge  Commercial  club  was  organized  at  a  mass  meeting  held  in 
the  court  room  December  4,  1902.  At  this  meeting  about  one  hundred  people 
were  present.  The  meeting  was  called  to  order  by  Mr.  F.  T.  Clark,  who  in  turn 
called  Mr.  A.  L.  Brown  to  the  chair.    Mr.  E.  H.  Williams  acted  as  secretary. 

The  club  as  first  organized  was  incorporated  as  a  stock  company  with  a 
capital  stock  of  $2,000,  divided  into  shares  of  $5.00  each.  The  payment  for 
stock  was  to  apply  on  the  membership  dues  for  the  first  year.  The  stock  sub- 
scription plan  was  soon  found  to  be  impracticable,  and  instead  memberships 
were  issued  with  annual  dues  of  $10.00.  These  annual  dues  provide  the  funds 
for  the  general  expenses  of  the  club.  When  funds  are  needed  for  some  particular 
purpose  that  recjuires  a  considerable  amount  of  money  they  are  raised  by 
special  subscriptions. 

At  the  first  meeting  articles  of  incorporation  and  by-laws  were  presented  by 
Mr.  Clark,  who  had  been  instrumental  in  calling  the  meeting.  The  final  adoption 
of  the  articles  was  deferred  until  the  meeting  for  permanent  organization,  which 
was  held  January  14,  1903.  A  committee  was  also  appointed  to  solicit  the  sale 
of  stock.     At  a  subsequent  meeting  this  committee  reported  104  subscribers. 

The  following  temporary  officers  were  elected  to  serve  until  the  permanent 
organization:  M.  E.  Springer,  president;  W.  F.  Maher,  vice  president;  John 
Abel,  treasurer;  and  E.  H.  Williams,  secretary.  The  first  board  of  directors 
consisted  of  J.  B.  Butler,  W.  U.  Turpin,  L.  E.  Armstrong,  O.  M.  Oleson,  M.  J. 
Haire,  F.  T.  Clark,  R.  O.  Green,  E.  H.  Williams,  M.  F.  Healy,  P.  M.  Mitchell, 
L.  R.  Dohs,  A.  C.  Heath,  John  Abel,  V.  C.  Colbert  and  E.  G.  Larson. 

The  first  proposition  ever  presented  to  the  Commercial  club  for  action  was 
one  from  the  "Vigor-O-Health"  Company,  who  desired  to  locate  in  Fort  Dodge 
for  the  manufacture  of  their  products.  The  first  convention  to  be  entertained 
by  the  club  was  that  of  the  Upper  Des  ]\Ioines  Editorial  Association,  which  met 
in  Fort  Dodge.  February  5,  6,  1903. 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  209 

At  the  time  the  Commercial  Club  was  organized  the  matter  of  creating  a 
department  of  commerce  as  a  part  of  the  national  administration  was  being  talked 
of,  and  the  newly  organized  club  passed  a  resolution  favoring  the  same.  Yet 
at  the  same  time  .club  members,  in  addressing  the  meetings  of  the  club,  opposed 
the  extension  of  rural  free  delivery  and  the  establishment  of  a  parcel  post.  The 
early  records  also  show  the  appointment  of  a  committee,  whose  duty  was  to 
endeavor  to  secure  passes  from  the  railroads  for  the  various  committees  of  the 
club  which  might  from  time  to  time  be  appointed  to  investigate  factory  proposi- 
tions. It  was  at  a  meeting  held  February  26,  1903,  that  C.  J.  Crawford  first 
presented  a  proposition  for  the  erection  of  a  much  needed  hotel,  and  which 
finally  resulted  in  the  building  of  the  ''Crawford,''  after  many  delays. 

Since  its  organization  the  Commercial  Club  has  entertained  many  propositions. 
Some  have  been  good.  !Many  have  been  bad.  Some,  that  at  first  sight  proved 
promising,  failed.  Yet  in  the  total  the  club  has  had  much  to  their  credit.  The 
securing  of  some  of  the  best  factories  in  the  city  has  been  due  to  their  work. 
They  have  successfully  entertained  many  conventions  and  have  given  Fort  Dodge 
its  reputation  as  an  ideal  convention  city.  It  was  largely  due  to  Commercial 
Club  efiforts  that  the  "Wahkonsa"  hotel  w^as  built ;  and  the  electrolier  system  of 
lights  on  Central  avenue  is  due  to  the  work  of  a  committee  from  the  club. 

At  first  the  club  had  no  regular  meeting  place,  the  meetings  being  generally 
held  in  the  court  room.  The  commissioner,  however,  had  an  office  in  the  East 
Mason  block  and  here  the  boar^of  directors  usually  met.  Later  the  club  rented 
a  hall  in  the  Doud  block;  ancl  January  i,  1912,  they  moved  to  the  West  Alason 
block,  where  in  connection  with  the  A.  O.  U.  W.  lodge  they  rent  the  entire  third 
floor. 

The  by-laws  provide  for  the  hiring  of  a  commissioner  whose  duty  it  is  to 
take  charge  of  the  active  work  of  the  club.  This  office  was  first  held  by  F.  L. 
Harmon,  and  later  by  S.  T.  Meservey.  The  office  was  then  combined  with  that 
of  secretary  and  J.  E.  Downing  was  elected  to  the  office. 

In  November,  191 1,  the  club  established  the  custom  of  having  a  business 
men's  luncheon  every  Wednesday  noon.  At  this  luncheon  there  is  usually  a 
short  program  of  addresses  upon  timely  subjects.  The  annual  meeting  of  the 
club  is  held  the  second  Wednesday  in  January  of  each  year,  the  regular  meeting 
of  the  board  of  directors  occurs  the  first  Wednesday  of  each  month. 

The  officers  of  the  society,  consisting  of  a  president,  vice  president,  secre- 
tary and  treasurer  are  usually  chosen  from  the  board  of  fifteen  directors.  The 
work  of  the  club  is  carried  on  by  committees.  The  chairman  of  each  committee 
is  a  member  of  the  board  of  directors  and  the  remaining  members  are  selected 
from  the  membership  at  large. 

The  objects  of  the  association  as  set  forth  in  the  articles  of  incorporation 
are  as  follows :  "To  secure  cooperation  from  all  classes  of  people  in  the  com- 
munity, representing  commercial,  mechanical,  banking,  real  estate  and  profes- 
sional interests,  not  to  supersede  or  antagonize  any  existing  business  organiza- 
tions, but  by  consulting  and  with  united  efforts  to  work  for  the  common  good 
of  all  in  matters  touching  the  general  welfare  of  the  city  of  Fort  Dodge;  to 
secure  the  location  of  manufacturing  and  other  business  enterprises  in  the 
city ;  to  promote  commercial  progress  and  increase  trade  and  industries ;  to 
acquire   and   disseminate   commercial   and   economical    information ;   to   increase 


210  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

acquaintance  and  harmony  among  the  business  and  professional  men  of  the  city, 
using  such  means  as  may  be  best  calculated  to  protect  the  interests  and  rights 
of  citizens,  looking  chiefly  towards  the  commercial  development  of  the  city  and 
surrounding  territory. 

The  principal  officers  of  the  association  since  its  organization  are  as  follows : 

1904.  L.  R.  Dohs,  president;  E.  H.  Williams,  secretary;  John  Abel,  treasurer, 

1905.  J.   B.   Butler,   president;   J.    E.   Downing,   secretary;   E.    G.   Larson, 
treasurer. 

1906.  J.    B.    Butler,   president ;   J.    E.    Downing,    secretary ;    E.    G.    Larson, 
treasurer. 

1907.  D.  M.  Woodward,  president;  E.  F.  Gates,  secretary;  E.  G.  Larson, 
treasurer. 

1908.  W.  V.  Mulroney,  president;  H.  M.  Pratt,  secretary,  C.  E.  Larson, 
treasurer. 

1909.  A.  D.  McOuilken,  president;  H.  J\L  Pratt,  secretary;  C.  E.  Larson, 
treasurer. 

1910.  A.   D.   McOuilkin,  president;   H.   M.   Pratt,   secretary;   C.   D.   Case, 
treasurer. 

191 1.  J.    R.    Mulroney,   president;   H.    M.    Pratt,    secretary;    C.    D.    Case, 
treasurer. 

1912.  J.    R.   Mulroney,   president;    H.    M.    Pratt,    secretary;    C.    D.    Case, 
treasurer. 


CHAPTER  XVIII 
THE. SPIRIT  LAKE  MASSACRE  AND  EXPEDITION 

INKPADUTAH    TAKES   REVENGE — THE    MASSACRE   AT   THE   LAKES CAPTIVES   RETURN 

THE    SPIRIT    LAKE    MONUMENT — NEWS    OF    MASSACRE    REACHES    FORT    DODGE 

RELIEF  EXPEDITION  ORGANIZED — JOHN  F.  DUNCOMBe's  STORY  OF  THE  EXPEDITION 

DEATH   OF   CAPTAIN    JOHNSON   AND  WILLIAM    BURKHOLDER RETURN   TO   FORT 

DODGE. 

During  the  spring  of  1856,  adventurous  emigrants  in  search  of  claims  and 
preemptions  had  reached  northern  Iowa.  Settlements  at  Okoboji  and  Spirit  Lakes 
embraced  about  fifty  persons.  The  most  of  these  settlers  reached  the  lakes  in  the 
months  of  July  and  August,  having  little  time  to  erect  their  cabins  and  prepare 
hay  for  their  few  cattle  before  winter  set  in.  The  winter  of  1856-57  was  one 
of  unusual  and  persistent  severity.  Frequent  storms  covered  the  prairies  with  a 
depth  of  snow  that  made  travel  very  difficult  and  completely  cut  off  communication 
between  the  scattered  settlements   for  weeks  and  months. 

Most  of  the  Indians  had  by  this  time  removed  from  northwestern  Iowa,  but 
parties  frequently  returned  to  hunt  and  fish  at  their  favorite  resorts  of  former 
years.  Inkpadutah,  who  often  came  with  his  band,  had  professed  friendship  for 
the  whites  in  these  isolated  settlements,  but  those  familiar  with  the  Indian 
character  were  fearful  lest  he  some  day  would  take  revenge  upon  them  for  the 
massacre  of  his  family  by  Lott. 

In  February,  1857,  Inkpadutah  and  his  band  appeared  on  the  Little  Sioux 
river  in  the  northeastern  corner  of  Woodbury  county.  They  came  ostensibly  to 
hunt,  but  in  reality  they  came  to  plunder.  As  they  passed  up  the  Little  Sioux  to 
the  lake  district  they  robbed  and  maltreated  the  settlers.  The  arms,  ammunition, 
provisions  and  cattle  were  taken  from  them,  leaving  the  settlers  destitute  and 
defenseless.  As  the  snow  was  very  deep  and  communication  with  other  settle- 
ments impossible,  they  were  compelled  to  submit  to  the  many  outrages  the  Sioux 
perpetrated. 

The  Indians  reached  the  lakes  in  the  early  days  of  Alarch  and  finally  on  the 
eighth  day  of  that  month  began  the  outrages,  which  resulted  in  the  deaths  of 
more  than  one-half  of  the  people  at  this  settlement. 

On  the  southeast  side  of  the  lake,  near  what  is  now  known  as  Pillsbury  Point, 
lived  the  Rowland  Gardner  and  Harvey  Luce  families ;  on  the  east  was  the  cabin 
occupied  by  Dr.  I.  H.  Herriott,  Bertell  Snyder,  William  and  Carl  Granger ;  also 
on  the  east  side  were  the  cabins  of  James  H.  Mattocks,  Joel  Howe,  Alvin  Noble 
and  Joseph  M.  Thatcher.  Six  miles  to  the  northeast,  on  the  west  shore  of 
Spirit  lake,  William  oMarble  and  wife  resided. 

211 


212  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

While  the  Gardner  family  were  at  breakfast  their  cabin  door  was  opened  and 
in  stalked  fourteen  Sioux,  led  by  Inkpadutah.  The  Indians  professed  friendship, 
until  they  had  eaten  all  of  the  available  food,  and  until  resisted  by  Luce,  when 
attempting  to  take  the  guns  and  ammunition  belonging  to  their  hosts.  At  this 
point,  Dr.  Herriott  and  Carl  Snyder  entered  and  the  savages  withdrew.  Mr. 
Gardner  believing  the  entire  settlement  in  danger  urged  the  young  men  to  assemble 
all  the  neighbors  at  his  house  in  order  to  defend  themselves.  The  young  men, 
however,  thought  there  was  no  danger  and  soon  repaired  to  their  own  cabins. 

After  prowling  about  during  the  forenoon,  the  Indians  approached  the  Mat- 
tocks' cabin,  taking  Gardner's  cattle  and  shooting  them  on  the  way.  The  entire 
Mattocks'  family  was  murdered;  and  in  spite  of  a  brave  attempt  on  the  part  of 
Gardner  to  defend  his  family,  he  and  they,  with  the  exception  of  one  daughter, 
were  killed.  This  fourteen-year-old  daughter,  Abbie,  was  taken  prisoner.  In 
defending  the  ^Mattocks'  family.  Dr.  Herriott  and  Carl  Snyder  lost  their  lives. 
Luce  and  Clark,  who  had  started  to  warn  the  settlers,  were  overtaken  and  scalped. 
That  night,  -with  truly  savage  orgies,  the  Indians  celebrated  the  slaughter  of  over 
twenty  men,  women  and  children. 

On  the  morning  of  the  ninth,  they  continued  the  massacre,  taking  as  victims  the 
Howe,  Thatcher  and  Xoble  families  with  the  exception  of  'Sirs.  Noble  and  Mrs. 
Thatcher,  who  were  taken  to  the  Indian  camp  as  prisoners. 

Later  on,  \\'illiam  INIarble  was  treacherously  shot  and  his  wife  taken  captive. 
Before  leaving  Marble's  Grove,  the  Indians  peeled  bark  from  a  large  tree  and 
on  the  white  surface  pictured  the  record  of  their  cruel  deeds. 

Not  a  person  in  this  whole  colony  was  spared,  when  Inkpadutah  took  vengeance 
upon  the  innocent  for  the  massacre  of  his  relatives  by  Lott  and  his  stepson. 

The  Indians  went  northward  to  Springfield,  Minnesota,  where  they  again  com- 
mitted depredations,  and  allowed  only  a  few  to  escape  their  butchery. 

The  four  young  women,  who  had  been  taken  captive,  were  taken  westward  by 
the  Indians ;  were  subjected  to  innumerable  cruelties ;  were  compelled  to  cut  wood 
and  assist  in  camp  drudgery.  Mrs.  Thatcher,  after  six  weeks  of  terrible  suffer- 
ing, was  cruelly  forced  to  swim  back  and  forth  across  the  Big  Sioux  river 
until  she  was  exhausted  and  drowned. 

When  news  of  the  massacre  at  the  lakes  and  of  the  capture  of  the  four  young 
women  reached  the  Indian  agency  on  Yellow  ^Medicine  river,  the  agent,  Charles 
E.  Flandreau,  with  S.  R.  Riggs  and  Dr.  Thomas  W^illiamson,  a  missionary,  began 
to  devise  plans  for  the  rescue  of  the  captives.  They  finally  succeeded  in  pur- 
chasing Mrs.  Marble  for  one  thousand  dollars.  She  did  everything  in  her 
power  to  efifect  the  rescue  of  her  two  surviving  companions.  The  ^Minnesota 
legislature  appropriated  ten  thousand  dollars  to  be  used  by  the  governor  to  secure 
the  release  of  the  two  captives.  Before  Inkpadutah's  camp  was  reached,  however. 
Mrs.  Noble  had  been  beaten  to  death.  Miss  Gardner  was  purchased  and  delivered 
to  Governor  Medary,  who  paid  the  reward  of  twelve  hundred  dollars  for  her 
deliverance. 

In  commemoration  of  this  event  the  twenty-fifth  general  assembly  of  Iowa 
enacted  a  law  for  the  erection  of  a  suitable  monument  at  Spirit  lake  on  the  grounds 
where  these  scenes  took  place.  Governor  Jackson  appointed  as  commissioners, 
Hon.  C.  C.  Carpenter.  Hon.  John  F.  Duncombe,  Hon.  R.  A.  Smith,  Mrs.  Abbie 
Gardner  Sharpe  and  Hon.  Charles  Aldrich.    The  location  selected  for  the  monu- 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  213 

ment  is  very  close  to  the  site  upon  which  the  Gardner  cabin  was  located.  The 
monument  itself  is  composed  of  Minnesota  granite,  is  55  feet  in  height  and  rests 
upon  a  base,  14x14  feet.     The  following  appears  on  the  bronze  tablets: 

NORTH    TABLET 

Iowa  Coat  of  Arms 

WEST   TABLET 

Roster  of  the  Relief  Expedition,  Fort  Dodge,  ^^larch  24,  1857 
Major  \\'illiam  \\'illiams  commanding 

Company  A — C.  B.  Richards,  captain ;  F.  A.  Stratton,  first  lieutenant ;  L.  K. 
Wright,  sergeant ;  Solon  ]\Iason,  corporal. 

Privates — W.  E.  Burkholder,  C.  C.  Carpenter,  Julius  Conrad,  —  Chatterton, 
J.  W.  Dawson,  John  Farney,  Andrew  Hood,  ^^'illiam  McCauley,  E.  Mahan,  W.  F. 
Porter ;  L.  B.  Ridgeway,  R.  A.  Smith,  O.  S.  Spencer,  Silas  Vancleave,  G.  W. 
Brizee,  L.  D.  Crawford,  Henry  Carse,  Wm.  Defore,  Wm.  Ford,  John  Gales, 
Angus  McBane,  Michael  ]\Iaher,  W.  P.  Pollock,  B.  F.  Parmenter,  \\"inton 
Smith,  G.  P.  Smith,  C.  Stebbins,  R.  U.  Wheelock,  D.  Westerfield. 

Company  B — J.  F.  Duncombe^  captain ;  James  Linn,  first  lieutenant ;  S.  C. 
Stevens,  second  lieutenant ;  W .  N.  Kpons,  sergeant ;  Thomas  Calagan,  corporal. 

Privates — Jesse  Addington.  Hiram  Benjamin,  Orlando  Bice,  A.  E.  Crouse. 
Michael  Cavanaugh,  John  Hefl^ey,  A.  Burch,  D.  H.  Baker,  Richard  Carter,  R.  F. 
Carter,  Jere  Evans,  O.  C.  Howe,  D.  F.  Howell,  Jonas  Murray,  G.  F.  ^IcClure, 
Michael  McCarty,  Robert  ]\IcCormick,  Daniel  Okeson,  J.  M.  Thatcher,  John 
White,  Washington  Williams,  A.  S.  Johnson,  Daniel  Morrissey,  A.  H.  Malcames, 
J.  N.  ]\IcFarland,  John  O'Laughlin,  Guernsey  Smith,  W.  Searles,  W.  B.  Wilson, 
Reuben  Whetstone. 

Company  C — J.  C.  Johnson,  captain;  J.  N.  Maxwell,  first  lieutenant;  F.  B. 
Mason,  second  lieutenant;  H.  Hoover,  sergeant;  A.  N.  Hathaway,  corporal. 

Privates — Thos.  Anderson,  T.  B.  Bonewright.  W.  L.  Church,  H.  E.  Dalley, 
John  Gates,  James  Hickley,  i\I.  W.  Howland,  W.  K.  Laughlin,  F.  R.  bloody, 
J.  C.  Pemberton,  ]\Iichael  Sweeney,  A.  K.  Tullis,  G.  R.  Bissell,  surgeon ;  James 
Brainard,  Sherman  Cassady,  Patrick  Conlan,  John  Erie,  Josiah  Griffith,  H.  C. 
Hillock,  E.  D.  Kellogg,  A.  S.  Leonard,  John  J\'owland,  Alonzo  Richardson,  Patrick 
Statlord.  X.  \'.  Lucas,  C.  Sherman,  com'sy. 

EAST  TABLET 

The  pioneer  settlers  named  below  were  massacred  by  Sioux  Indians,  March 
8-13,  1857.  The  barbarous  work  was  commenced  near  this  spot,  and  continued 
to  a  point  north  of  Spirit  Lake. 

Robert  Clark,  Rowland  Gardner,  Francis  ^I.  Gardner,  Rowland  Gardner. 
Jr.,  Carl  Granger,  Joseph  Harshman,  Isaac  H.  Herriott,  Joel  Howe,  Millie 
Howe,  Jonathan  Howe,  Sardis  Howe.  Alfred  Howe,  Jacob  Howe,  Philetus  Howe, 
Harvey  Luce,  Mary  M.  Luce,  Albert  Luce,  Amanda  Luce,  William  Wood. 
William  Marble.  James  H.  ^Mattock,  Mary  M.  Mattock,  Alice  Mattock,  Daniel 


214  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

■Mattock,  Agnes  ^lattock,  Jacob  I\I.  ^lattock,  Jackson  A.  Alattock,  Robert  ]\Iat- 
thieson,  Lydia  Xoble,  Alvin  Xoble,  John  Noble,  Enoch  Ryan,  Bertel  E.  Snyder, 
Joshua  Stewart,  wife  and  two  children,  Elizabeth  Thatcher,  Dora  Thatcher, 
George  Wood. 

MEMORANDA 

Mrs.  Margaret  Ann  Marble,  Mrs.  Lydia  Noble,  Mrs.  Elizabeth  Thatcher  and 
Miss  Abbie  Gardner  were  carried  into  captivity.  Mrs.  Marble  was  rescued.  May 
21.  and  Miss  Gardner,  June  27,  1857,  through  the  efforts  of  Governor  Sam  Medary 
and  Hon.  Charles  E.  Flandrau,  of  Minnesota.  Mrs.  Noble  and  Mrs.  Thatcher 
were  murdered  by  the  Indians. 

Captain  J.  C.  Johnson,  of  Webster  City,  and  Wm.  E.  Burkholder,  of  Fort 
Dodge,  were  frozen  to  death  on  the  return  march  in  Palo  Alto  county,  April  4, 

1857- 

Persons  who  fled  from  the  attack  on  Springfield,  Minnesota,  and  were  rescued 

by  the  relief  expedition :  John  Bradshaw,  David  Carver,  Mrs.  S.  J.  Church  and 

two  children,  Eliza  Gardner,  Geo.  Granger.  ]Mrs.  Harshman  and  children,  Mr. 

Harshman   (son  of  the  preceding)   and  wife,   Morris  Markman,  Mrs.   William 

Nelson  and  child,  Jared  Palmer,  A.  B.  Shiegley,  J.  B.   Skinner  and  wife,  Mr. 

Smith  and  wife.  Dr.  G.  B.   N.   Strong,  wife  and  two   children,  John   Stewart, 

Drusilla  Swanger,  J.  B.  Thomas,  wife  and  five  children. 

THE  SPIRIT  LAKE  EXPEDITION 

The  news  of  the  destruction  of  the  settlements  around  Spirit  Lake  was 
brought  to  Fort  Dodge  by  O.  C.  Howe,  R.  U.  Wheelock  and  B.  F.  Parmenter, 
who  had  taken  claims  in  the  neighborhood  of  Spirit  Lake.  They  had  started 
early  in  March  to  visit  their  claim,  and  reached  the  Thatcher  cabin  on  the  15th. 
Unable  to  arouse  anyone  in  the  cabin,  they  opened  the  door  and  beheld  the 
dead  bodies  of  Noble  and  Ryan.  Upon  approaching  the  cabin  of  Mr.  Howe, 
they  found  the  mutilated  bodies  of  seven  women  and  children.  Realizing  that 
this  was  the  work  of  the  Indians,  they  hastened  back  to  Fort  Dodge  to  carry 
the  news,  and  to  secure  aid.  They  reached  the  city  on  Saturday  night.  March 
21,  1857.  The  next  day  a  public  meeting  was  called  in  the  "old  brick"  school- 
house  and  the  following  day  two  companies  were  organized  to  go  to  the  relief 
of  the  settlements.  These  two  companies  were  company  A,  commanded  by 
Captain  C.  B.  Richards  and  Company  B,  commanded  by  Captain  John  F.  Dun- 
combe.  They  were  joined  by  another  company  from  Webster  City,  known  as 
Company  C,  and  commanded  by  Captain  J.  C.  Johnson.  These  three  com- 
panies were  formed  into  a  battalion  and  Major  William  Williams  assumed  the 
command.  At  the  time,  !Major  Williams  had  a  commission  from  Governor 
Grimes,  authorizing  him,  in  case  of  Indian  depredations  to  organize  sufficient 
military  force  to  protect  the  settlers. 

The  three  companies  were  furnished  with  teams  and  wagons  and  with  the 
supposed  necessary  sui)ply  of  provisions,  clothing  and  blankets ;  and  with  such 
arms  and  ammunition  as  could  be  furnished  at  the  time,  consisting  of  nearly 
every  kind  of  gun,  from  double-barreled  shot  guns  to  the  finest  rifles.  Thus 
equipped,  the  expedition  left  Fort  Dodge  on  Alarch  24,  1857. 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  215 

The  following  account  of  the  expedition  is  taken  from  an  address  deliv- 
ered by  Hon.  John  F.  Duncombe,  the  captain  of  Company  B. 

"The  first  day,  the  companies,  after  a  hard  fight  with  great  drifts  and 
enormous  snow-banks,  made  only  a  distance  of  six  or  seven  miles  and  camped 
close  to  the  timber  on  the  banks  of  Eiadger  creek.  The  men  rolled  themselves 
in  their  blankets,  covered  their  heads  and  lay  down  on  the  snow. 

"The  following  day  we  shoveled  snow,  tramped  it  down  for  our  teams, 
and  when  no  other  plan  was  possible,  fastened  a  long  rope  to  a  wagon,  and 
every  man  taking  hold,  hauled  the  wagon  through  banks  so  deep  that  the  snow 
would  pile  up  in  front  until  it  reached  the  top  of  the  dashboard.  After  getting 
our  wagons  through  such  a  bank  we  would  haul  our  oxen  and  horses  through 
places  where  it  was  impossible  for  them  to  travel. 

"In  this  way  we  reached  the  point  now  known  as  Dakotah  City,  after  wading 
the  Des  Moines  river  fifteen  or  twenty  times,  where  there  were  places  to  drag 
our  wagons  over,  as  we  could  not  get  down  to  the  rivet  at  any  place  where  it 
was  sufficiently  frozen  to  carry  our  heavy  loads.  We  had  made  about  ten 
miles  on  this  day,  by  dark. 

"A  few  of  the  men  found  places  to  lodge  in  houses  and  sheds;  others  rolled 
in  their  blankets,  sought  the  shelter  of  the  groves  or  lay  on  the  snow  as  on  the 
preceding  night. 

"The  following  day  the  command  started  for  McKnight's  Point,  a  distance  of 
about  eighteen  miles  in  a  direct  line  northwesterly  from  Dakotah  City.  Our 
course  lay  over  a  rather  low,  flat  prairie,  which  had  gathered  and  retained  the 
great  bulk  of  the  accumulation  of  the  earlier  winter  storms.  We  were  without 
guide,  larkmarks  or  tracks  of  any  kind  to  direct  us.  This  necessitated  having 
some  one  go  ahead  and  find  the  best  places  for  crossing  the  deep  and  almost 
impassable  drifts. 

"This  duty  was  assigned  to  me  and  it  necessitated  double  the  amount  of 
travel  required  of  the  command.  During  all  the  forenoon  I  kept  two  or  three 
miles  in  advance  of  the  companies,  signaling  back  from  high  points  the  direc- 
tion to  be  taken  to  avoid,  so  far  as  possible,  the  depressions  in  the  ground 
which  were  filled  with  snow,  in  many  places  ten  or  twelve  feet  in  depth.  All 
this  distance  there  was  a  crust  on  the  snow  on  which  a  light  man  could  some- 
times w^alk  five  or  six  rods,  but  a  heavier  man  would  break  through  and  go  in 
to  his  hips,  thus  making  the  march  exceedingly  difficult  and  tiresome. 

"At  dark  the  companies  were  together  .about  three  or  four  miles  back,  and 
we  were  about  the  same  distance  from  a  grove  of  timber  at  McKnight's  Point, 
on  the  west  fork  of  the  Des  Moines  river.  We  held  a  consultation  and  con- 
cluded it  would  be  as  easy  to  reach  this  timber  as  to  return  to  the  command, 
and  immediately  started  for  it.  One  of  our  number  would  go  ahead  for  a 
few  rods  and  the  other  two  following  his  footsteps,  at  one  time  on  the  crust 
of  the  snow  and  at  another  time  sinking  down  two  or  three,  or  more  feet 
into  the  snow,  w^edged  in  by  the  hard  crust  which  made  it  almost  impossible  to 
extricate  ourselves  for  another  plunge.  Then  another  would  change  with  the 
leader.    We  continued  on  in  this  way  until  we  reached  the  grove. 

"From  McKnight's  Point,  the  command,  led  by  that  brave,  intrepid  old 
soldier.  Major  William  Williams,  continued  on.  each  day  being  a  repetition  of 
the  preceding  one.  until  we  reached  what  was  then  called  the  West  Bend  and 


216  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

beyond  that  the  Irish  Colony,  located  a  few  miles  northwesterly  from  what 
is  now  the  flourishing  city  of  Emmetsburg,  the  growing  capital  of  Palo  Alto 
county.  Here,  we  rested  for  a  short  time  and  were  joined  by  several  persons 
living  in  the  settlement  and  by  Hon.  C.  C.  Carpenter  and  Angus  McBane  and 
others  who  happened  to  be  there  on  business,  but  resided  at  Fort  Dodge. 

"After  the  command  moved  on  from  the  Irish  Colony,  signs  of  Indians  were 
found  around  the  lakes  in  that  neighborhood.  A  few  cattle  had  been  shot,  and 
what  appeared  like  moccasin  tracks  were  seen  and  every  little  grove  was  searched. 

"Near  the  lakes  we  saw  in  the  distance  some  objects  which  seemed  to  be 
moving  and  were  supposed  to  be  Indians.  A  detail  was  sent  ahead  to  investi- 
gate, and  a  nearer  view  revealed  an  ox-team  and  a  sled. 

"This  showed  plainly  the  presence  of  white  people.  As  we  approached, 
we  found  that  they  had  mistaken  us  for  Indians.  They  had  put  themselves 
in  an  attitude  of  defense,  evidently  intending  to  sell  their  lives  as  dearly  as 
possible  and  determined  never  to  fall  into  the  hands  of  the  savages  alive,  ^^'hen 
they  found  us  friends,  the  joy  of  these  people,  about  seventeen  or  eighteen  in 
number,  can  be  better  imagined  than  described.  They  were  trying  to  escape 
from  the  town  of  Springfield,  in  Minnesota,  where  the  Indians  had  Ijeen 
repulsed,  but  at  the  cost  of  one  killed  and  several  wounded. 

"While  we  were  at  the  lakes  and  after  supplying  these  refugees  \\  ith  food, 
the  appetites  of  our  men,  on  account  of  the  cold  and  severe  labor,  had  nearly 
exhausted  the  amount  of  food  supplied  for  the  march,  and  we  were  reduced  to 
half  rations.  Much  of  the  time,  however,  we  were  supplied  with  raw  meat, 
some  of  it  beavers'  meat,  which  was  cooked  by  our  night  lires.  each  one  fur- 
nishing a  stick,  fastening  to  it  a  piece  of  meat  and  holding  it  over  the  coals, 
until  ready  for  supper.  When  there  was  no  stick  handy,  a  ramrod  answered  the 
purpose. 

""For  the  last  few  days  of  the  march  we  were  constantly  in  expectation  of 
meeting  Indians,  of  whom  every  settler  gave  such  information  as  best  suited 
his  fancy.  This  constant  watchfulness,  which  required  the  stationing  of  guards 
at  night,  permitted  but  few  hours  of  good,  sound,  restful  sleep  during  the  entire 
march.  The  labors  of  the  men  were  of  the  most  severe  character.  They  were 
almost  constantly  shoveling  snow  and  dragging  out  teams  and  wagons  by  ropes 
through  the  deep  banks,  traveling  with  sore,  wet  and  swollen  feet.  To  add  to 
the  difficulty,  several  became  snow-blind. 

"x\fter  meeting  the  refugees  from  Springfield,  who  would  have  perished 
but  for  our  timely  aid,  all  believed  the  Indians  would  follow  them.  This  neces- 
sitated double  diligence  and  vigilance.  All  were  constantly  on  the  watch  after 
we  left  Mud  Lakes.  In  order  not  to  be  taken  by  surprise  a  body  of  scouts  was 
dispatched  ahead  of  the  main  company  to  carefully  examine  the  timber  border- 
ing on  the  lakes,  and  report  any  further  signs  of  Indians  that  might  be  discovered. 
"From  this  point  no  particular  incident  occurred  worth  relating  until  we 
reached  Granger's  cabin,  near  the  Minnesota  line,  several  miles  above  Estherville. 
"At  the  Granger  cabin  a  soldier  from  Fort  Ridgely  met  us  and  reported  what 
the  soldiers  from  that  point  had  done,  and  gave  us  what  information  he  had 
relating  to  the  Indians  and  the  direction  they  had  taken.  He  said  that  after 
their  repulse  at  Springfield,  they  had  hastily  fled  and  were  then  probably  a  hun- 
dred miles  northwest  of  the  place  where  we  were  encamped  for  the  night. 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  217 

"The  officers  then  held  a  council,  and  all  concluded  the  Indians  had  such 
a  start  that  we  could  not  overtake  them,  and  by  this  time  the  sun  had  melted 
the  snow  to  such  an  extent  that  the  streams  were  rising  rapidly  and  in  many 
places  were  almost  impassable. 

"It  was  then  decided  to  send  a  detail  to  bury  the  dead  and  find  whether 
any  were  yet  alive  around  the  lakes.  \^olunteers  were  called  for,  and  Captain 
Johnson  of  Company  C,  and  many  others,  more  than  could  go,  volunteered. 
The  names  of  this  party,  about  twenty  in  all,  have  been  preserved  and  it  will 
be  unnecessary  for  me  to  repeat  them.  Captain  Johnson  was  placed  in  com- 
mand by  Major  Williams,  and  we  parted  with  these  brave  men,  expecting  to 
meet  them  on  our  return  to  the  Irish  colony. 

"The  balance  of  the  command  then  started  on  the  return  march.  The  fast 
melting  snow  had  raised  the  streams  and  in  places  they  were  almost  impassable. 
After  a  hard,  toilsome  march,  we  finally  reached  the  Irish  colony,  expecting 
to  meet  our  men  who  had  been  sent  to  bury  the  dead.  Captain  Johnson  never 
returned.  \Villiam  Burkholder  never  returned.  The  night  before  our  arrival 
it  turned  cold  and  there  was  quite  a  blizzard.  Captain  Johnson  and  .his  detach- 
ment, as  soon  as  they  had  buried  the  dead,  started  to  cross  from  the  lakes  to 
our  place  of  meeting.  They  became  bewildered  and  disagreed  as  to  the  proper 
course  to  take,  remaining  all  night  with  their  frozen  clothing  and  wet  feet  on 
the  open  prairie  without  shelter  or  food.  In  the  morning  those  who  had  taken 
off  their  wet  boots  were  unable  to  get  them  on.  They  separated  into  s([uads, 
each  party  taking  the  course  that  it  considered  right,  and  during  the  day  most 
of  them  reached  the  place  of  meeting.  Captain  Johnson  and  William  Burk- 
holder, two  as  noble  men  as  ever  lived,  were  frozen  to  death  and  though  fof 
weeks  a  search  was  made,  their  bones  were  not  found  until  years  after,  when 
they  were  identified  by  the  rifle  which  Burkholder  carried  and  had  with  him  when 
he  died.  Many  of  those  who  came  in  were  actually  crazy,  so  that  they  did  not 
recognize  their  companions  for  some  time  after.  It  has  always  been  a  mystery 
to  me  that  any  of  the  detachment  survived  that  terrible  night.  On  the  open 
prairie,  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  lakes,  the  storm  was  the  worst  that  we  had 
experienced  up  to  that  time  and  one  of  the  worst  ever  known  in  Iowa.  The 
hardships  which  these  brave  men  experienced  and  endured  on  the  march  undoubt- 
edly accustomed  them  to  greater  hardships  and  increased  their  powers  of  endur- 
ance, or  not  one  would  have  been  left  to  tell  the  tale  of  their  sufferings.  At  the 
Irish  colony,  as  we  had  but  little  food,  we  tried  to  purchase  a  steer  to  be  killed  to 
aid  our  commissary,  George  B.  Sherman.  The  people  refused  to  sell  without 
the  cash  and  we  were  compelled  to  take  the  animal  by  force. 

"We  then  started  down  the  Des  Moines  river,  keeping  on  the  hills  to  avoid 
the  water,  which  l:)y  this  time  covered  the  bottom  lands.  About  two  hours 
before  dark  we  arrived  at  Cylinder  creek,  which  we  found  had  risen  so  rapidly 
that  it  covered  the  flat  land  for  nearly  half  a  mile  in  width,  for  a  depth  of 
from  two  to  four  feet,  w^hile  the  main  channel  of  the  stream  was  fifty  or  sixty 
feet  wide  and  very  deep. 

"Captain  Richards  and  myself  concluded  to  rig  up  a  boat  from  a  new  wagon 
box,  which  we  calked  with  the  cotton  from  a  bed-quih,  and  taking  Guernsey 
Smith  from  my  company  and  Mr.  Mason  from  his,  we  started  across,  hoping 
in  this  way  to  be  able  to  get  the   remainder  over.     The   wind,  however,   rose 


218  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

suddenly  from  the  northwest  and  blew  so  hard  that  although  we  baled  con- 
stantly we  barely  reached  the  other  shore  before  our  boat  was  swamped  and 
sunk,  all  getting  more  or  less  wet. 

"Captain  Richards,  Smith  and  myself  tried  to  reach  the  men  on  the  other 
side  by  calling  to  them,  but  failed.  We  were  exhausted  and  knew  unless  we 
could  reach  the  cabin  about  three  miles  away  the  chances  for  the  night  would 
be  poor  indeed,  as  all  our  blankets  were  left  with  the  men.  As  we  could  accom- 
plish nothing  more,  we  started  as  rapidly  as  we  could  go,  with  our  wet  feet, 
frozen  boots  and  clothing,  for  the  Shippey  cabin,  which  we  reached  after  dark. 
We  secured  a  little  bread,  bacon  and  coffee  and  then  sat  around  the  fire  drying 
our  clothing,  looking  out  of  the  door  to  see  if  there  was  any  change  for  the 
better  in  the  awful  storm  and  wondering  how  it  would  be  possible  for  the  men 
to  live  through  the  night.  This  was  one  of  the  longest  nights  I  ever  experienced. 
It  seemed  like  a  month  to  me. 

"As  soon  as  we  could  see,  we  started  back  to  the  point  where  we  had  left 
the  men.  Captain  Richards  and  myself  reached  the  place  through  the  blind- 
ing storm  W'ith  the  mercury  away  below  zero  and  the  wind  blowing  at  a  fifty 
mile  rate,  but  the  other  men  did  not. 

"When  we  reached  Cylinder  creek  we  could  see  that  the  men  were  all  hidden 
from  sight  by  the  blankets  and  canvas  coverings  of  the  wagons  and  we  were 
in  great  fear  that  all  were  frozen  to  death  as  there  was  not  the  least  sign  of 
life.  We  remained  as  long  as  we  could  stand  it  and  then  returned  to  Shippey 's 
cabin.  About  three  o'clock  we  again  faced  the  storm  and  reached  the  place 
a  second  time  opposite  our  men.  Captain  Richards  and  myself  had  brought  a 
rope  with  us  when  we  crossed  over,  and  on  our  first  trip  had  made  great  exer- 
tions to  reach  the  men.  We  renewed  our  efforts  at  this  time.  I  tied  the  rope 
around  ni}-  body,  Captain  Richards  taking  the  other  end,  and  finding  two  boards 
of  the  wagon  box,  put  them  on  the  ice,  and  by  moving  one  and  then  the  other 
ahead  of  me  while  lying  flat  down  tried  to  cross  the  stream,  but  on  account  of 
my  weight  constantly  breaking  the  thin  ice  over  the  rapid  portion  of  the  stream, 
I  found  it  impossible.  Then  Captain  Richards,  who  was  lighter  than  myself, 
tried  the  same  experiment,  I  holding  the  end  of  the  rope,  but  with  no  better 
success. 

"At  this  time,  however,  I  saw  and  talked  with  two  of  the  men,  who  informed 
me  that  all  were  safe.  With  great  coolness  and  presence  of  mind,  the  men  piled 
up  as  close  together  as  they  could  lie,  covered  themselves  all  over  with  the 
blankets,  scarcely  a  person  moving  from  Saturday  evening  until  Monday  morn- 
ing, when  the  ice  had  frozen  over  so  solidly  that  the  loaded  wagons  and  horses, 
as  well  as  the  men,  crossed  over  in  perfect  safety. 

"Owing  to  the  lack  of  food  the  men  at  this  point  separated  somewhat,  going 
in  squads  with  a  view  to  securing  suflicient  supplies  to  last  them  until  they 
should  reach  home. 

"When  the  storm  came  to  Cylinder  creek.  Major  Williams  rode  back  on  a 
wagon  to  the  Irish  colony  to  look  after  the  men  of  the  detail  sent  to  Spirit  Lake 
to  bury  the  dead,  who  had  not  yet  arrived.  He  and  the  remainder  of  the  com- 
pany arrived  at  Fort  Dodge  on  the  lOth  or  nth  of  April.  All  of  those  we  had 
rescued  arrived  safely  in  as  good  form  as  could  have  been  hoped  for  in  their 
destitute  and  wounded  condition. 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  219 

"All  of  the  command  finally  arrived  safely  except  Captain  Johnson  and 
William  Burkholder,  who  perished  in  the  awful  storm  not  far  from  the  Irish 
colony,  on  the  west  side  of  the  west  fork  of  the  Des  Moines  river.  Some  of 
the  party,  however,  received  injuries  from  the  exposure  on  the  march,  from 
which  they  never  recovered. 

"I  have  doubts  whether  any  body  of  men  for  the  same  length  of  time,  on 
any  march,  ever  suffered  greater  hardships,  more  constant  exposure,  more 
severe  bodilv  labor,  than  these  who  composed  the  Spirit  Lake  Expedition." 


^'ol.  I— 1  5 


CHAPTER  XIX 
BUILDING  A  RAILROAD 

FORT    DODGE    &    FORT    RIDGLEV    RAILROAD    AND    TELEGRAPH    COMPANY    ORGANIZED 

FINANCING  THE  ROAD GEORGE   R.   PEARSONS — A   RACE  FOR  THE   COUNTY   LINE 

MEETING  THE  REQUIREMENTS  AS  TO  OPERATION ROAD  IS  SOLD  TO   MINNEAPOLIS 

&   SAINT   LOUIS  RAILROAD. 

During  the  year  1877  the  business  men  of  Fort  Dodge  were  aroused  to  action 
by  the  report  that  a  railroad  was  to  be  built  northwest  of  the  city  into  the  town 
of  Humboldt.  The  chief  promoter  of  this  road  was  S.  H.  Taft,  of  Humboldt, 
and  he  had  interested  J.  J.  Smart,  of  Des  Moines,  in  the  enterprise.  In  addition 
the  board  of  supervisors  of  Humboldt  county  had  entered  into  an  agreement  to 
convey  a  considerable  amount  of  swamp  land  as  a  bonus  for  building  the  road. 
The  road  was  to  be  extended  from  Ames  by  way  of  Webster  City  to  Humboldt, 
and  thence  to  Rutland.  The  success  of  such  a  road  would  mean  the  loss  of 
considerable  business  to  the  Fort  Dodge  business  men.  A  public  meeting  was 
called,  which  was  attended  by  men  representing  the  various  business  interests 
of  the  city.  Action  was  taken  looking  to  the  immediate  building  of  a  road  into 
Humboldt  county.  A  company  was  organized  composed  of  the  leading  business 
men  of  the  city  and  known  as  the  Fort  Dodge  &  Fort  Ridgley  Railroad  &  Tele- 
graph Company.  George  R.  Pearsons  was  chosen  treasurer  and  general  super- 
intendent. The  city  and  township  voted  a  tax  in  aid  of  the  enterprise,  and  the 
line  of  the  proposed  road  was  run  to  the  south  line  of  Humboldt  county. 

The  original  prospectus  of  the  road  shows  that  it  was  to  be  built  narrow  gauge 
width,  from  Fort  Dodge  in  a  northwesterly  direction  to  the  north  line  of  the  state 
in  Kossuth  or  Emmet  county,  to  connect  with  a  railroad  and  telegraph  company 
running  in  the  direction  of  Fort  Ridgley,  Minnesota.  The  capital  stock  proposed 
was  $2,000,000  in  shares  of  Sioo  each,  to  be  called  in  at  the  rate  of  ten  per  cent 
monthly,  as  the  board  of  directors  might  direct,  and  the  total  indebtedness  of 
the  company  was  at  no  time  to  exceed  $1,000,000  in  the  aggregate. 

The  officers  'of  the  company  were :  Walter  H.  Brown,  president ;  George 
W.  Bassett,  vice  president ;  George  R.  Pearsons,  treasurer  and  general  superin- 
tendent ;  Gus  T.  Peterson,  secretary,  and  Elliott  E.  Colburn,  chief  engineer. 

The  usual  methods  of  raising  additional  funds  with  which  to  prosecute  the 
work  were  resorted  to  in  the  way  of  taxes,  personal  subscriptions,  and  grants. 
At  this  time  the  number  of  inhabitants  in  Webster  county  was  a  little  over 
i3,OQO  while  the  counties  of  Humboldt,  Kossuth  and  Palo  Alto  had  less.  All 
of  these  counties  as  well  as  Pocahontas,  Emmet,  Clay  and  Dickinson  were  to  be 
tributary  to  the  road  when  it  had  reached  Emmetsburg,  a  distance  of  fifty-three 

221 


222  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

miles,  and  it  was  the  intention  of  the  promoters  to  supply  the  territory  west  of 
Emmetsburg  on  the  line  of  the  Milwaukee  road  with  fuel  obtained  from  the  coal 
mines  adjacent  to  Fort  Dodge. 

The  plan  adopted  by  the  board  of  directors  was  to  build  the  road  on  as  cheap 
a  scale  as  possible,  using  light  iron  and  light  engines,  so  as  not  to  subject  it  to 
the  necessity  of  a  foreclosure  of  its  bonds,  as  had  been  the  case  with  so  many 
western  roads,  and  it  was  confidently  believed  that  with  the  aid  of  the  people  in 
the  way  that  had  been  proposed  and  had  already  been  started,  by  subscriptions  of 
stock  in  the  various  townships  along  the  line,  and  from  private  subscriptions  that 
this  object  would  be  accomplished. 

The  level  grade  of  the  road,  which  was  to  be  ballasted  with  good  gravel,  and 
the  lack  of  curves,  would  enable  the  line  to  be  operated  at  a  light  expense,  and  it 
was  believed  that  the  business  which  could  be  secured  with  connecting  lines 
would  enable  the  ofificers  to  pay  a  good  dividend  to  the  stockholders,  besides  pay- 
ing interest  on  the  bonds,  the  total  amount  of  which  was  to  be  $650,000  for  one 
hundred  miles  of  road,  or  $6,500  per  mile,  with  seven  per  cent  gold  bearing  inter- 
est coupons  secured  by  trust  deed. 

Everything  looked  well  on  paper.  It  was  easily  figured  out  that  the  road 
would  be  a  great  success  once  it  was  put  in  operation  and  would  add  greatly  to 
the  prestige  of  Fort  Dodge  as  a  commercial  center.  Friends  of  the  road  were 
dispatched  to  adjoining  counties  to  solicit  stock  and  urge  upon  the  people  the 
advisability  of  voting  a  tax.  The  progress  made  in  the  way  of  securing  taxes 
was  only  fair.  Humboldt  county  voted  not  only  taxes,  but  swamp  lands  as  well. 
While  there  was  a  certain  commercial  jealousy  existing  between  the  towns  of 
Dakotah  City  and  Humboldt,  the  tax  was  at  last  voted  and  the  "knockers"  de- 
feated 

The  contract  drafted  by  the  board  of  supervisors  contained  numerous  con- 
ditions which  at  the  time  looked  easy  enough,  but  proved  exceedingly  strenuous 
for  the  company  to  comply  with.  It  was  required  that  the  company  should  have 
the  line  in  running  order  and  be  able  to  maintain  a  speed  of  fifteen  miles  an 
hour  over  the  county  line  by  January  i,  1879.  The  motive  power,  however,  was 
not  mentioned,  and  this  slight  oversight  enabled  the  company  to  comply  with 
the  condition  in  a  most  amusing  manner. 

Webster  county  voted  a  subsidy  of  $38,000  and  Humljoldt  county  $35,000,  in 
addition  to  7,000  acres  of  swamp  lands.  This  was  financial  foundation  sufficient 
to  warrant  the  promoters  starting  and  in  the  spring  of  1878  work  was  started. 
In  the  east  part  of  Fort  Dodge  on  a  vacant  lot  is  still  to  be  seen  a  relic  of  the 
first  grading  done  for  the  Fort  Dodge  &  Fort  Ridgley  road.  The  summer  was 
a  wet  season  and  the  work  of  grading  and  haulingH:Iie  rails  by  team  was  greatly 
retarded.  Several  bad  sloughs  caused  much  trouble  in  getting  a  grade  over. 
George  R.  Pearsons,  who  had  personal  charge  of  the  work,  was  a  giant  in  strength 
and  he  threw  his  whole  reserve  force  of  energy  and  power  into  the  work  with 
a  determination  born  of  desperation.  It  was  told  of  him  that  he  used  to  start 
with  a  rail  in  each  hand  on  the  run  up  the  grade,  so  anxious  was  he  to  reach  the 
county  line  of  Humboldt  and  have  the  road  completed  before  the  expiration  of 
the  time  limit  for  doing  the  work.  The  wet  weather  and  other  drawbacks  experi- 
enced, which  necessitated  great  exposure,  soon  told  on  this  man  of  herculean 
strength,  and  in  time  brought  him  home  to  a  sick  bed.     The  members  of  the 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  223 

directory  felt  that  their  project  had  been  dealt  a  hard  blow  by  this  bit  of  bad  news, 
but  there  were  others  who  rallied  to  the  rescue.  A  red-headed  Irishman,  who 
had  charge  of  the  men  during  Mr.  Pearson's  absence,  proved  an  unknown  hero. 
"Billy"  O'Brien  showed  them  he  knew  a  few  things  about  railroad  building,  and 
as  fall  came  on  and  the  \veather  continued  bad,  with  the  sloughs  open  and  roads 
heavy,  he  threw  his  great  strength  into  the  work  of  reaching  the  goal,  which  was 
the  Humboldt  county  line.  Small  freight  cars  were  run  by  horse  or  mule  power 
from  the  supply  yard  at  Fort  Dodge  to  the  point  where  the  graders  were  at  work. 
It  was  the  custom  of  the  directors  to  lend  a  hand  in  loading  these  cars  when  they 
arrived,  and  otherwise  making  themselves  useful  in  the  work.  The  near  approach 
of  the  first  of  the  year  and  the  continued  bad  weather  served  to  bring  out  all  of 
the  combined  energy  of  the  force  engaged  in  constructing  the  road,  and  it  was 
seen  that  something  must  be  done  to  reach  the  Humboldt  line  in  time.  The 
recovery  of  ^Ir.  Pearson  from  his  sickness  brought  out  a  plan  of  operation  which 
was  adopted  at  once.  Three  shifts  of  men  were  put  at  work.  There  was  no  let- 
up in  the  race.  Every  man  contributed  his  every  pound  of  muscle  and  energy  to 
the  work.  With  only  a  margin  of  a  day  or  two,  the  rails  were  laid  over  the  county 
line  and  Mce  President  Bassett,  watch  in  hand,  with  six  picked  men  passed  over 
the  county  line  on  a  handcar  at  a  rate  of  speed  exceeding  fifteen  miles  an  hour. 

Through  the  town  of  Badger  and  on  northwest  the  work  progressed.  Many 
people  who  ride  over  the  Minneapolis  &  St.  Louis  road  wonder  why  it  is  so 
crooked,  when  the  prairie  on  either  side  would  easily  admit  of  a  straight  track 
without  additional  cost  for  grading.  This  was  due  to  a  plan  inaugurated  at  the 
first  inception  of  the  Fort  Dodge  &  Fort  Ridgley  survey.  The  corners  of  every 
other  section  are  traversed  to  enable  the  company  to  secure  additional  subsidy 
for  its  construction. 

The  work  had  progressed  to  a  point  across  the  Des  Moines  river  known  as  the 
Jones  farm  when  negotiations  were  opened  with  the  Minneapolis  &  St.  Louis 
road,  which  at  that  time  came  as  far  south  as  Livermore.  Their  survey  ran 
through  the  town  of  Belmond  and  they  were  seeking  a  southern  outlet.  In  the 
Fort  Dodge  &  Fort  Ridgley  road  they  saw  a  connecting  link  which  would  serve 
their  purpose  to  a  good  advantage,  and  the  officials  at  once  laid  before  the  local 
company  a  proposition  to  buy  the  road.  A  condition  of  the  sale  was  that  the  local 
company  should  continue  the  work  of  construction  and  deliver  it  to  them 
complete  to  Livermore. 

The  business  men  of  Fort  Dodge,  who  had  become  interested  in  the  road  at 
its  inception  and  had  been  most  enthusiastic,  were  more  than  willing  to  entertain 
the  proposition,  as  they  had  in  the  brief  time  they  had  been  connected  with  the 
enterprise  been  fully  satisfied  with  railroad  building.  In  fact  the  very  promising 
things  which  at  first  looked  so  certain  had  gradually  faded  from  view  and  the 
prospects  of  ultimate  success  were  on  the  wane  when  the  Minneapolis  &  St.  Louis 
hove  in  sight  with  their  proposition  to  buy.  It  did  not  take  the  remaining  seven 
members  of  the  board  long  to  reach  an  agreement.  Several  of  the  members  who 
had  stuck  to  the  enterprise  from  the  first  and  had  absorbed  the  stock  of  those 
who  became  frightened  at  the  outcome,  were  joyous  over  the  prospects  of  get- 
ting out  without  loss  to  themselves.  Even  at  that  the  Minneapolis  &  St.  Louis 
Company  had  made  a  good  deal.     And  so  did  the  local  company,  for  steel  rails 


224  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

which  sold  at  $33.00  to  the  Fort  Dodge  Company  advanced  the  next  year  to 
$60.00. 

Upon  the  completion  of  the  road  to  Livermore  an  excursion  was  run  to 
celebrate  the  completion.  This  was  in  1879,  and  the  Fort  Dodge  depot  at  the 
time  was  in  the  extreme  eastern  part  of  the  city.  Shortly  after  the  first  excur- 
sion was  run  from  Fort  Dodge  to  Minneapolis.  Both  were  great  events  at  the 
time  and  were  liberally  patronized  by  the  settlers. 

Shortly  after  the  Minneapolis  &  St.  Louis  had  acquired  the  Fort  Dodge  & 
Fort  Ridgley  the  officers  of  the  road  concluded  to  change  the  entrance  into  Fort 
Dodge  and  come  in  around  the  north,  west  and  south  sides  in  order  to  allow 
them  to  continue  the  road  south.  Accordingly,  they  set  about  to  secure  the 
right  of  way  and  in  doing  so  found  that  it  would  be  necessary  to  pass  through 
the  south  line  of  the  Oakland  cemetery  near  the  border.  Inasmuch  as  this  land 
could  not  be  condemned,  the  officers  took  up  the  matter  with  the  board  and 
practically  allowed  the  cemetery  board  to  name  its  own  price  and  impose  such 
conditions  upon  the  road  as  were  necessary,  no  doubt  believing  that  all  would 
turn  out  well.  One  of  the  conditions  was  that  a  platform  should  be  built  close 
to  the  main  traveled  road  and  adjacent  to  a  main  grade  crossing,  which  would 
be  used  for  funeral  trains  which  were  to  be  provided  the  town  during  the 
spring  season  when  the  roads  were  impassable.  Another  condition  was  that  all 
trains  should  be  run  very  slow  over  the  grade  crossing  and  in  case  a  funeral 
procession  was  passing  at  the  time  the  train  should  come  to  a  full  stop.  It  is 
needless  to  say  that  none  of  these  conditions  imposed  by  the  cemetery  board 
were  ever  respected,  much  less  carried  out,  with  the  result  that  one  of  the  mem- 
bers of  the  board,  who  was  a  leading  attorney,  brought  suit  against  the  road 
and  was  awarded  a  verdict  of  $300.00,  which  was  collected.  The  conditions 
since,  however,  have  never  been  enforced. 


CHAPTER  XX 
THE  COMING  OF  THE  "CHARLES  ROGERS" 

BUILDING    THE   "cHARLES    ROGERS" CAPTAIN    BEEr's    STORY HOMEWARD    BOUN 

FIRST  STEAMBOAT  TO  FORT  DODGE PROMISE  OF  RIVER  NAVIGATION A  "SOCIABLE 

SOIREE." 

In  the  spring  of  1859  the  business  men  of, Fort  Dodge  organized  a  stock 
company  for  the  purpose  of  raising  funds  to  build  a  steamboat  to  navigate  the 
Des  ^loines  river.  The  stock  was  readily  taken  and  Captain  Aaron  F.  Blackshere 
and  Others  were  sent  to  Pittsburgh  to  superintend  the  building  of  the  boat.  A 
small  sternwheel  boat  of  fifty-ton  capacity,  with  adjustable  smokestack  and  pilot 
house,  SO  as  to  enable  it  to  go  under  the  bridge  at  Des  Moines,  was  built,  launched 
and  sent  by  the  way  of  the  Ohio  and  Mississippi  rivers  to  Keokuk,  then  up  the 
Des  Moines  to  Fort  Dodge.    The  name  of  this  boat  was  ."Charles  Rogers." 

Captain  Beers  has  related  the  story  of  the  maiden  trip  of  this  boat  as  follows : 

"I  was  sent  by  the  Fort  Dodge  Navigation  Company  to  Pittsburgh  to  bring 
back  a  steamboat  to  navigate  the  Des  Moines  river.  Left  Fort  Dodge  J^^ly  21, 
1858.  Went  down  the  Des  Moines  river  to  Keokuk  in  a  little  boat  that  was  built 
here;  went  from  there  to  Pittsburgh  by  rail.  Arrived  at  Pittsburgh  on  the  6th 
of  August ;  on  the  9th  of  August  closed  the  contract  with  Charles  Rogers  for 
a  steamboat  with  a  hull  seventy-six  feet  long,  fifteen  feet  wide,  with  two  cylin- 
ders ten  and  twelve  inches  in  diameter,  and  a  three-foot  stroke. 

"The  boat  was  built  according  to  contract,  the  price  agreed  upon  being  $2,259, 
of  which  $175  was  paid  down,  and  by  agreement  the  rest  was  to  be  arranged 
before  I  left  Pittsburgh.  The  boat  was  completed  in  the  early  part  of  October 
and  Mr.  Henry  Carse  came  from  Fort  Dodge  to  Pittsburgh  with  some  money 
and  we  made  a  payment  of-  $1,100  all  told,  and  left  Pittsburgh  with  $13  for 
expense  money,  on  the  14th  of  October,  1858. 

"I  hired  a  greenhorn  for  a  pilot,  and  being  a  greenhorn  myself  did  not  know 
any  better.  We  got  aground  on  a  glass  house  riffle  three  or  four  miles  below 
Pittsburgh.  It  cost  us  two  hundred  bushels  of  coal  which  we  gave  a  steam- 
boat, to  get  off.  We  discharged  our  pilot,  and  got  a  new  one  named  Elliott.  We 
agreed  to  pay  him  $40.00  to  take  us  to  Cincinnati,  which  seemed  to  be  a  very 
large  price  as  we  only  had  $13.00  in  money,  and  were  leaving  Pittsburgh  $1,500 
in  debt,  secured  by  notes  which  were  to  run  two,  four  and  six  months.  These 
notes  were  secured  by  real  estate  which  Mr.  Carse  and  myself  owned  in  Iowa. 

"We  were  five  days  going  to  Cincinnati.  The  first  day  we  earned  $1.00,  the 
second  about  $10.00,  by  carrying  passengers,  freight  and  towing,  and  when  we 

225 


226  HISTO_RY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

arrived  in  Cincinnati  had  money  to  pay  Mr.  Elliott,  our  pilot,  and  made  some 
necessary  changes  in  machinery  amounting  to  about  $25.00. 

"We  left  Cincinnati  about  the  20th  of  October,  got  aground  about  hve  miles 
below,  which  took  $5.00  to  get  ofif.  We  had  two  pilots  engaged  to  take  us  to 
St.  Louis  for  $75.00,  which  also  was  a  very  risky  transaction,  as  we  did  not 
have  over  $10.00  when  we  left  Cincinnati. 

"The  school  boys  of  that  day  all  thought  the  'Description  of  Blennerhasset 
Island,'  by  Wm.  Wirt,  the  grandest  thing  ever  written  and  I  was  anxious  to  see 
the  place  and  kept  a  keen  watch  for  the  island.  When  we  neared  it  we  found 
it  was  just  an  overgrown  piece  of  land  that  did  not  amount  to  anything  at  all. 
We  passed  through  the  locks  at  Louisville,  which  I  understand  they  have  since 
made  a  very  fine  work,  but  at  that  time  a  large  steamboat  could  hardly  go 
through. 

"We  did  not  have  anything  of  interest  happen  until  we  reached  Evansville. 
There  we  paid  the  last  dollar  we  had  for  provisions.  We  had  about  a  $16.00 
freight  bill  to  collect  at  Cairo.  The  freight  consisted  of  furniture,  which  was  on 
deck.  About  two  hours  before  we  arrived  in  Cairo,  as  we  had  no  tarpaulin 
with  which  to  cover  us,  the  furniture  got  wet,  having  a  little  shower,  and  the 
consignees  refused  to  pay  the  freight  bill,  which  was  a  very  serious  disaster  to 
young  fellows  without  money.  To  add  to  our  trouble,  the  fireman  had  burned 
out  a  grate  bar  and  we  could  not  make  steam,  and  were  in  constant  fear  that 
the  wharfmaster  would  come  down  and  demand  $3.00  for  wharfing,  a  sum  of 
money  that  we  did  not  have,  the  failure  to  pay  which  would  render  us  liable  to 
be  tied  up  for  debt. 

"After  a  little  deliberation,  we  took  the  fenders  off  the  side  of  the  l)oat  and 
got  up  steam  enough  to  leave  the  harbor,  ran  up  the  Mississippi  about  fifteen 
miles,  when  we  came  to  a  drift  pile  of  probably  an  acre  or  two ;  we  landed  and 
commenced  to  put  drift  wood  on  the  boat  to  use  for  fuel.  W^orked  all  night,  left 
the  drift  pile  about  10  o'clock  in  the  morning,  going  up  the  river  about  e",ght 
miles  an  hour  cheerfully.  About  12  o'clock  we  came  upon  the  wreck  of  a  steam- 
boat, a  party  being  on  board  tearing  off  the  machinery.  They  were  Pittsburgh 
men,  well  known  to  the  engineer  and  had  grate  bars  of  the  same  pattern  as  our 
own,  and  gave  us  half  a  dozen  with  which  to  repair  our  furnace.  We  had  been 
obliged  to  keep  wood  in  the  place  of  the  grate  l)ar  and  after  these  were  given  us 
we  did  not  have  to  watch  it  so  carefully. 

"A  new  trouble  now  presented  itself,  our  last  provisions  were  used  up  for 
breakfast  that  morning.  The  meat  fryings  were  considered  the  perquisites  of 
the  cook  and  kept  in  a  receptacle  called  the  'slush  tub;'  these,  with  half  a  barrel 
of  flour,  were  the  only  things  eatable  on  board. 

"We  continued  our  way  up  the  river  until  about  2  o'clock  in  the  afternoon, 
when  we  passed  a  long,  narrow  island,  with  large  quantities  of  cord  wood  lying 
upon  it — being  literally  covered,  in  fact.  I  asked  the  pilot  whose  wood  that  was. 
He  said  it  was  anybody's  wood,  that  it  had  drifted  down  from  wood  yards  per- 
haps two  hundred  or  three  hundred  miles  up  the  river.  I  told  him  we  wanted 
that  wood  and  would  stop  right  now  and  get  some  of  it.  He  swung  the  boat  into 
the  island  at  the  first  chance  to  land  and  we  commenced  to  throw  off  the  drift  wood 
and  put  on  the  cord  wood  in  its  place.  I  went  to  the  engineer  with  the  request 
that  he  go  fishing  immediately,  as  he  had  a  fine  supply  of  fishing  tackle.     He 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  227 

laughed  at  me,  saying  there  were  no  fish  there,  but  that  he  would  fish  to  accommo- 
date me.  He  cut  up  hemp  packing,  picked  it  up  fine  like  oakum.  Mixed  flour  with 
it  and  made  it  into  little  balls  about  as  fine  as  marbles  and  put  them  upon  the 
hooks  for  bait.  Inside  of  fifteen  minutes  he  was  having  good  success,  catching 
channel  cat  that  would  weight  from  two  to  four  pounds  apiece.  The  cook  quit 
carrying  wood  to  prepare  one  of  the  finest  dinners  of  fish  and  biscuit  that  any- 
body ever  ate.  The  fishing  continued  until  after  dark,  and  we  had  fish  enough 
to  last  us  as  long  as  they  would  keep.  We  did  not  get  out  of  fish  until  we 
reached  Hannibal,  Missouri,  which  was  three  or  four  days  afterwards.  We 
stayed  at  the  island  all  night,  continuing  our  way  to  St.  Louis  in  the  morning. 

"We  arrived  at  St.  Louis  on  Sunday  morning,  having  been  two  weeks  on 
the  way  from  Pittsburgh.  We  made  fast  to  the  guard  of  the  'Prima  Dona,"  a 
large  lower  river  boat,  and  settled  with  the  pilots  the  best  way  we  could  without 
paying  them  any  money,  which  was  a  very  difficult  thing  to  do.  We  kejjt  away 
from  the  levies  for  fear  of  the  wharfmaster,  an  officer  we  did  not  wish  to  see. 
Our  pilots  were  going  on  the  'Prima  Dona,'  and  they  were  very  well  pleased 
to  find  her  in  port. 

"We  left  St.  Louis  in  the  course  of  an  hour  without  a  pilot ;  came  up  the 
river  to  Hannibal,  Missouri,  discharged  our  cargo  of  furniture  from  the  hold 
of  the  vessel,  receiving  a  freight  bill  of  $75.00.  As  we  were  about  ready  to 
leave  Hannibal  the  'Pianola,'  a  large  tramp  steamer  with  a  big  cargo,  and  cov- 
ered with  passengers,  on  her  way  from  Pittsburgh  to  Minnesota,  landed  against 
the  'Charles  Rogers,'  which,  being  without  freight,  pushed  about  twenty-five 
feet  out  of  the  levy.  -^ 

"The  'Pianola'  made  a  very  short  stay  and  the  mate  came  alward  and  says, 
'Boys,  we  pushed  you  out  there  in  pretty  bad  shape;  if  you  will  give  us  the 
end  of  your  lines  we'll  pull  you  off  when  we  go  out.'  We  passed  him  a  line ;  the 
'Pianola'  backed  into  the  river  and  piled  out  nearly  200  feet  of  slack  line,  which, 
when  it  came,  brought  out  our  boat  into  the  river  so  quickly  as  to  throw  every 
man  down  on  the  boat,  as  we  were  not  guarding  against  it,  and  turned  the  bow 
of  our  boat  entirely  around  down  stream,  very  much  to  the  amusement  of  the 
crew  and  passengers  of  the  'Pianola,'  whose  laughter  and  shouts  of  derision 
were  very  hard  to  endure.  We  already  had  a  good  pressure  of  steam  and  were 
soon  going  up  the  river  in  pursuit  of  the  'Pianola.'  As  I  never  steered  a  steam- 
boat in  a  race  before,  we  ran  too  close  to  the  'Pianola'  and  we  overhauled  her 
rapidly  and  the  shouts  and  laughter  ceased.  The  'Pianola'  being  much  the  largest 
boat  had  a  tendency  to  draw  our  boat  right  in  alongside  of  them,  but  as  we 
were  running  about  twice  as  fast  as  they  were,  we  went  by  without  coming  in 
contact,  missing  within  about  ten  feet,  and  we  soon  left  the  'Pianola'  behind, 
\\'e  continued  up  the  river  and  lost  sight  of  the  boat.  For  a  day  or  two  before 
we  had  been  having  very  rainy  weather,  and  when  we  arrived  at  the  mouth  of 
the  Des  Moines  river  we  saw  a  big  freshet  coming  out  of  the  river.  The  Mis- 
sissippi river  was  very  low.  We  landed  at  Keokuk  an  hour  later,  and  immediately 
began  negotiations  with  the  firm  of  Lord  &  King,  wholesale  and  retail  dealers 
on  the  levies,  by  which  they  agreed  to  load  us  a  cargo  for  Des  Moines  and  send 
along  a  man  who  should  pay  our  expense  bills  and  take  the  amount  out  of  our 
freight  charges.  We  were  successful  in  our  deal,  and  in  the  forenoon  the  next 
day,  we  were  on  our  way  to  Des  Moines  with  a  cargo  worth  at  least  $500.  Mr.  King 


228  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

• 
came  along  as  super-cargo.  Frank  Davidson  came  along  as  pilot — he  after- 
wards became  Captain  Frank  Davidson,  but  at  that  time,  however,  was  simply- 
pilot.  W'e  were  four  or  five  days  making  the  round  trip  to  Des  Moines  and 
immediately  loaded  again  at  Keokuk  on  our  second  trip.  When  about  thirty 
miles  below  Des  Moines  coming  up,  we  met  Mr.  Aaron  F.  Blackshere,  wdio  had 
come  down  from  Fort  Dodge  in  a  small  row  boat  which  he  had  built  himself. 
He  was  so  elated  at  meeting  us  that  he  turned  his  boat  adrift  and  came  aboard 
the  steamboat. 

"Mr.  Blackshere  had  an  interest  in  the  boat.  He  was  president  of  the  Navi- 
gation Company,  and  as  long  as  we  had  money  to  pay  postage,  Mr.  Carse  and 
myself  had  written  to  him  at  least  twice  a  week,  right  along.  He  also  knew  our 
change  of  fortune  when  we  began  to  do  business  in  Keokuk.  We  received  him 
on  board  with  cheers  and  many  blasts  of  the  whistle.  He  w^as  the  first  Fort  Dodge 
man  we  had  seen,  and  we  felt  as  though  we  had  an  experience  which  would  last 
a  man  his  natural  lifetime. 

"We  made  about  three  trips  to  Des  Moines  that  fall,  earned  about  money 
enough  to  pay  ofif  our  crew,  and  send  one  hundred  dollars  to  Pittsburgh. 

"]\Ir.  Blackshere  was  very  much  opjX)sed  to  our  running  nights.  He  thought 
it  was  taking  great  risks  to  run  at  night  in  a  river  so  full  of  snags  and  o1)Struc- 
tions,  as  the  Des  Moines  river  was  at  that  time,  but  Mr.  Carse  and  myself  thought 
we  would  rather  face  the  dangers  of  the  river  than  take  the  chances  of  being 
overtaken  bv  the  sheriff  in  the  spring,  when  our  notes  should  come  due  and 
we  would  not  have  the  money  to  pay  them.  The  weather  became  very  cold  about 
the  last  of  November  and  we  were  caught  in  a  very  heavy  ice,  and  made  our 
way  very  slowly  from  Des  Moines  to  Bentonsport  through  the  heavy  slush  ice. 
C)n  arriving  at  Bentonsport,  the  engineer  had  allowed  steam  to  get  so  low  that 
lie  was  unable  to  land  through  the  shore  ice.  which  extended  about  one  hundred 
rods  above  the  dam.  The  best  he  could  do  was  to  crowd  the  boat  against  the 
ice,  and  we  were  being  slowly  forced  over  the  dam  by  the  current.  The  mate 
and  two  men  threw  the  ice  boat  out  onto  the  ice  and  jumped  after  it.  All  broke 
through,  but  they  succeeded  in  crawling  out  and  crawling  onto  the  ice..  A  line 
was  throAvn  to  them  and  they  took  it  ashore,  crawling  one  hundred  feet  on  the 
ice  before  thev  could  stand  up,  the  ice  being  so  very  thin.  The  first  line  parted 
after  they  had  made  it  fast  to  the  shore.  They  came  back  and  we  gave  them  a 
second  line,  attaching  a  small  line  to  it,  and  throwing  it  to  them  so  that  they 
could  pull  it  out.  They  took  the  large  line  ashore  rapidly,  and  that  held. 
That  pulled  us  in  for  twenty  or  thirty  feet  through  the  shore  ice,  and  the  stern 
of  the  boat  was  within  sixty  feet  of  the  dam,  over  w^hich  the  river  was  plunging 
with  a  forty-foot  fall.  We  stretched  two  lines  from  the  bow  of  the  boat  to  the 
shore,  laid  plank  down  on  the  thin  ice,  and  landed  our  twenty  passengers,  who 
until  then  were  not  aware  of  the  danger  they  were  in,  and  never  did  know 
how  near  they  had  been  to  an  icy  grave."  Mr.  Blackshere  sold  out  his  interest 
in  the  'Charles  Rogers'  the  next  day,  that  being  late  in  the  fall  of  1856. 

"The  ice  all  went  out  in  three  or  four  days  and  the  freight  was  trans- 
ferred to  a  farmer's  barn  and  the  boat  went  into  harbor  six  miles  below. 

"We  laid  the  boat  up  for  the  winter  about  eighteen  miles  below  Ottumwa 
on  the  north  bank  of  the  river.  Mr.  Blackshere  came  to  Fort  Dodge  to  see  if 
he  could  raise  money  enough  to  help  us  out  of  our  financial  troubles.     But  the 


td 

r  ^ 

trt-    .  -^ 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  229 

people  were  feeling  the  full  weight  of  the  panic  of  1857  and  the  money  was  not 
to  be  had.  On  the  23d  of  February  thQ  ice  went  out  of  the  river  and  we  started 
the  boat  again.  Mr.  Carse  took  a  school  near  where  the  boat  was  tied  up  and  he 
did  not  come  on  the  boat  for  a  week  or  two  after  we  started,  as  his  school  had 
not  closed.  We  made  two  or  three  trips  right  up  and  down  before  the  school- 
house,  and  he  was  pretty  anxious  to  join  us.  We  continued  carrying  freight 
and  passengers  betwen  Keokuk  and  Des  Moines  until  some  time  in  May,  when 
we  loaded  freight  for  a  wholesale  firm  for  Fort  Dodge.  There  were  two  firms, 
Connadle  &  Smith,  and  Chittenden  &  McGavic,  and  I  have  forgotten  which  of 
the  firms  sent  the  cargo.  \\^e  had  several  times  endeavored  to  get  a  cargo  to 
Fort  Dodge  before  that,  l^ut  it  was  hard  work  to  convince  those  men  that  we 
could  come  up  the  river  to  Fort  Dodge.  It  was  also  necessary  to  get  a  little 
acquainted  with  them  in  order  to  establish  confidence  in  our  al)ility  to  perform 
our  contract.  Fort  Dodge  people  were  very  impatient  for  us  to  come  up  here, 
and  I  had  received  some  very  caustic  letters  from  one  or  two  of  them  because  we 
had  not  come  before. 

"The  water  was  high,  and  on  our  arrival  at  Des  Moines  we  took  ofif  the 
wheel  faces,  so  as  to  get  under  the  bridge  at  Des  Moines.  We  did  not  get 
below  that  bridge  again  until  we  had  made  five  trips  to  Fort  Dodge.  We  arrived 
in  Fort  Dodge  about  the  middle  of  May ;  it  was  a  small  place,  perhaps  five  hun- 
dred people,  but  the  enthusiasm  with  which  we  were  received  could  hardly 
be  believed  by  the  citizens  now,  and  it  was  such  a  greeting  as  no  man  could  ever 
forget  in  his  natural  lifetime.  They  looked  upon  the  arrival  of  the  'Charles 
Rogers,'  the  first  steamboat  that  had  ever  landed  at  Fort  Dodge,  as  their  sal- 
vation, establishing  this  point  as  a:.head  of  navigation,  and  regarding  this  as  the 
commencement  of  similar  future  enterprises. 

"The  nearest  railroad  station  was  one  hundred  and  seventy  miles  away,  and 
Avith  steamboat  conections  with  the  commercial  world,  the  future  was  bright. 

"Five  trips  were  made  from  Des  Moines  and  we  made  two  trips  of  thirty  or 
forty  miles  below  Fort  Dodge  after  lumber  for  a  courthouse.  The  lumber 
consisted  of  very  long  joists  and  heavy  timbers.  The  water  becoming  low, 
we  were  warned  to  leave  the  river,  and  did  leave  on  the  29th  of  June.  We 
had  a  load  of  freight  to  come  up.  and  did  come  up  as  far  as  Bentonsport.  We 
discharged  our  cargo  at  Bentonsport  on  the  last  trip  and  left  the  river  on  the 
29th  of  June,  1859.  The  next  year  the  river  was  so  low  that  it  was  not 
navigable." 

Mr.  John  F.  Duncombe,  editor  of  the  Fort  Dodge  Sentinel,  in  the  issue  of 
April  7,  1859.  describes  the  arrival  of  this  boat  thus: 

"Yesterday  will  be  remembered  by  many  of  our  citizens  with  feelings  of 
extereme  delight  for  many  years  to  come.  By  the  politeness  of  Capt.  F.  E. 
Beers,  of  the  Charles  Rogers,  in  company  with  about  one  hundred  and  twenty 
ladies  and  gentlemen  of  the  town,  we  enjoyed  the  first  steamboat  pleasure 
excursion  on  the  Upper  Des  Moines  river.  The  steamboat  left  the  landing  at 
Colburn's  ferry  about  two  o'clock  and  after  crossing  the  river  and  loading  with 
coal  from  the  mines,  started  for'  the  upper  ferry.  All  our  citizens  are  well 
aware  of  the  shallow  ford  on  the  river  at  the  rapids  at  this  place,  which  is  at 
the  head  of  the  island  at  the  mouth  of  Soldier  creek,  where  the  river  divides 
into  two  equal  channels.     The  steamer  passed  up  over  the  rapids  in  the  west 


230  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

channel  with  perfect  ease.  At  the  mouth  of  Lizard  creek  the  boat  'rounded  to' 
and  passed  down  the  eastern  channel  of  the  river  at  race  horse  speed.  The  scene 
was  one  of  intense  interest.  The  beautiful  plateau  on  which  our  town  is  built 
was  covered  with  men,  women  and  children.  The  river  bank  was  lined  with 
joyful  spectators.  Repeated  hurrahs  from  those  on  the  boat  and  on  the  shore 
filled  the  air.  The  steamer  passed  down  the  river  about  six  miles  and  then 
returned.  Old  grudges  were  settled,  downcast  looks  brightened,  hard  times 
were  forgotten.  Everybody  seemed  perfectly  happy.  We  had  always  believed 
that  the  navigation  of  our  river  was  practical,  but  to  know  it,  filled  our  citizens 
with  more  pleasure  than  a  fortune.  We  felt  like  a  boy  v/ith  a  rattlebox,  'only 
more  so.'  The  Fort  Dodge  steamboat  enterprise  has  .succeeded  in  spite  of 
sneers  and  jeers.  Long  may  the  friends  of  the  enterprise  live  to  remember 
the  first  pleasure  excursion  at  Fort  Dodge." 

As  Captain  Blackshere  came  steaming  up  the  river  for  the  first  time,  he  blew 
the  whistle  so  long  and  loud  that  the  citizens  imagined  a  Mississippi  river  fleet 
had  arrived,  and  before  he  could  land  at  the  levee  and  make  fast  the  bow  line, 
the  banks  of  the  stream  were  lined  with  men,  women  and  children  anxious  to  get 
a  sight  of  the  newcomer. 

At  a  public  meeting  of  the  citizens,  held  at  the  schoolhouse  that  evening, 
Major  Williams  presiding,  a  vote  of  thanks  was  tendered  Capt.  F.  E.  Beers, 
Henry  Carse,  A.  F.  Blackshere  and  others  associated  with  them  in  this  steam- 
])oat  project,  and  the  merchants  were  urged  to  patronize  the  Charles  Rogers 
in  preference  to  any  other  boat. 

The  citizens  of  Fort  Dodge  also  gave  a  dance  at  the  Masonic  Hall  in  honor  of 
the  coming  of  the  first  steamboat  loaded  with  freight  for  that  port.  The  invi- 
tation cards  for  that  social  function  were  in  the  following  form : 

SOCIABLE  SOIREE 

WE    DANCE   AT    MASONIC    HALL   THURSDAY    EVENING    NEXT 

WILL   YOU  COME? 

MANAGERS 

Maj.  Wm.  Williams  Hon.  W.  N.  Meservey 

Hon.  J.  M.  Stockdale  Hon.  Thos.  Sargent 

Hon.  C.  C.  Carpenter  A.  M.  Dawley 

Hon.  L.  L.  Pease  Israel  Jenkins 

J.  D.  Strow  Geo.  W.  Reeve 

\\\  W.  White 

FLOOR    MANAGERS 

James  B.  Williams  A.  F.  \\'atkins 

D.  D.  Merritt 
Fort  Dodge,  May  23rd,  1859. 


CHAPTER  XXI 

HISTORY  OF  THE  RIVER-LAND  GRANT 

BY  C.  L.  LUCAS 

MAKING    THE    DES    MOINES    RIVER    NAVIGABLE — CONTROVERSY    AS    TO    MEANING    OF 

TERMS  OF  THE  GRANT THE  DES   MOINES    NAVIGATION   AND  RAILROAD  COMPANY 

STEAM    ROADS    INSTEAD  OF    STEAMBOATS EVICTING   SETTLERS TARDY    RECOM- 
PENSE. 

No  legislative  act  has  ever  afifected  the  interests  of  the  people  of  the  Des 
]\Ioines  valley  in  so  great  a  measure  as  the  act  known  in  history  as  the  Des  Moines 
River-Land  Grant;  nor  has  any  land  grant  made  to  the  state  for  any  purpose 
created  so  much  excitement  and  sorrow  as  it  has. 

In  the  first  place  it  was  a  great  mistake  for  anyone  to  have  supposed  that 
the  Des  Moines  river  could  have  been  made  navigable  by  any  process  of  improve- 
ment. The  only  excuse  that  can  be  offered  is  the  fact  that  at  and  preceding 
the  date  at  which  this  grant  was  made  there  was  a  greater  volume  of  water  in 
the  river  than  there  has  been  since  that  date.  All  the  streams  of  an  unimproved 
country  contain  a  larger  volume  of  w^ater  than  they  do  after  the  country  is 
improved.  At  that  time  there  were  no  railroads  in  the  state ;  the  need  of  means 
of  transportation  was  the  chief  reason  for  the  eft'ort  to  improve  the  river  and 
make  it  navigable. 

The  Des  Moines  river-land  grant  was  passed  and  became  a  law  August 
8,  1846.  Just  who  it  was  that  formulated  this  act  is  not  generally  known, 
but  as  the  act  was  passed  by  congress  about  four  months  before  Iowa  became  a 
state,  the  grant  must  first  have  been  proposed  by  A.  C.  Dodge,  who  was  then  the 
territorial  delegate  in  congress,  and  through  his  influence,  most  likely,  it  was 
placed  before  the  committee  on  territories,  of  which  Stephen  A.  Douglas  was 
chairman  and  by  him  placed  on  its  passage. 

The  wording  of  this  act  was  not  sufficiently  specific  to  prevent  dift'erences 
of  opinion  as  to  its  meaning.  The  language  of  the  act  first  says  that  the  grant 
was  made  for  the  improvement  of  the  navigation  of  the  Des  Moines  river,  from  its 
mouth  to  the  Raccoon  fork ;  and  then  f ollow^s  the  language  defining  the  grant  to  be 
"a  moiety  in  alternate  sections  of  the  public  lands  (remaining  unsold,  and  not 
otherwise  disposed  of,  encumbered  or  appropriated),  in  a  strip  five  miles  in  width 
on  each  side  of  the  river  to  be  selected  within  said  territory,  by  an  agent  or 
agents,  appointed  by  the  governor  thereof,  suliject  to  the  approval  of  the  secre- 
tary of  the  treasury  of  the  United  States." 

Tf  the  language  defining  the  grant  had  been  as  specific  as  that  defining  the 

231 


232  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

extent  of  the  improvement  to  be  made,  there  would  have  been  no  trouble  in  defin- 
ing its  extent.  The  failure  to  fully  define  the  extent  of  the  grant  brought  about 
different  opinions  and  different  rulings  by  officers  who  had  to  transact  the  busi- 
ness relating  to  the  grant. 

On  the  17th  of  Octoljer,  1846,  a  little  over  two  months  after  the  passage 
of  this  act,  the  commissioners  of  the  general  land  office  at  Washington  made  a 
reqviest  of  the  governor  of  the  territory,  that  he  appoint  an  agent  to  select  the 
land  under  the  river  grant,  giving  it  as  his  opinion  at  the  same  time,  that  the 
grant  extended  only  to  the  Raccoon  fork  of  the  Des  Moines  river.  This  was 
the  first  official  opinion  as  to  the  extent  of  the  grant  ever  given.  There  is  not 
much  doubt  that  this  opinion  was  strictly  in  accord  with  the  original  intent  of  the 
grant. 

On  the  17th  of  December  the  territorial  authorities  designated  the  odd  num- 
bered sections  as  the  lands  selected  under  this  soon  to  be  vexatious  grant.  This 
selection  included  every  odd  section  in  five  miles  of  the  Des  Moines  river  below 
the  Raccoon  fork. 

This  was  the  last  act  under  the  river-land  grant,  for  eleven  days  from  that 
date  the  territory  was  admitted  into  the  Union  as  a  state,  and  the  territorial 
officers  stepped  down  and  out,  and  were  succeeded  by  the  state  officers.  The 
state  authorities  accepted  the  selection  made  by  the  territorial  agent  January 
9,  1847,  which  was  the  first  act  done  by  the  state  authorities  relating  to  the  Isusi- 
ness  of  this  grant,  but  not  the  last  one  by  any  means. 

On  the  24th  of  February  following,  the  state  created  a  board  of  public  works, 
and  to  it  was  assigned  the  work  of  construction  and  management  of  the  river 
improvement,  and  the  care,  control,  sale,  disposal  and  management  of  the  lands 
granted  to  the  state  by  the  act  of  1846. 

This  board  was  elected  by  a  majority  of  the  voters  of  the  state  at  an  election 
held  on  the  first  Monday  in  August,  1847.  It  consisted  of  a  president,  secretary 
and  treasurer,  each  of  whom  took  the  oath  of  office  on  the  22d  day  of  Septem- 
ber, 1847.  Tlic  names  of  this  board  were  president,  Hugh  W.  Sample;  sec- 
retary, Charles  Corkey ;  treasurer,  Paul  Brattain.  After  filing  their  bonds  and 
taking  the  oath  of  office  on  the  date  above  named,  they  entered  upon  the  discliarge 
of  their  duties. 

On  the  17th  of  February,  1848,  the  commissioner  of  the  general  land  office  in 
an  official  communication  to  the  secretary  of  the  board  of  public  works,  gave  it 
as  the  opinion  of  his  office  that  the  river-land  grant  extended  the  whole  length  of 
the  river  within  the  state.  This  was  the  second  opinion  of  this  same  officer,  the 
last  one  being  the  exact  counterpart  of  the  first.  This  ruling  was  the  beginning 
of  the  confusion,  misery  and  woe  of  this  historic  land  grant. 

On  the  19th  of  June,  1848,  the  president  of  the  United  States,  without  regard 
to  these  rulings,  if  he  knew  that  such  ruling  existed,  placed  on  the  market  by 
proclamation  some  of  the  lands  above  the  Raccoon  fork.  Here  were  the  acts 
of  two  officials  relating  to  the  extent  of  the  river-land  grant.  This  conflict  of 
opinion  led  to  a  correspondence  between  the  officers  of  the  state  and  the  United 
States,  which  resulted  in  the  promulgation  of  an  opinion  of  the  secretary  of  the 
treasury  of  the  United  States,  on  March  2,  1849,  to  the  effect  that  the  grant 
extended  to  the  source  of  the  river.    The  secretary  of  the  treasury  who  rendered 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  238 

this  opinion  was  Hon.  Robert  J.  Walker,  in  the  last  days  of  the  administration  of 
President  Polk. 

By  reason  of  this  ruling,  on  the  first  day  of  the  following  June,  the  com- 
missioner of  the  general  land  office  directed  the  receivers  of  the  local  land  offices 
to  withhold  from  sale  all  the  odd  numbered  sections  in  five  miles  of  the  river 
above  the  Raccoon  fork. 

Up  to  this  time.  ]\Iarch  2,  1849,  four  rulings  or  conclusions  had  been  made 
and  acted  upon.  As  has  already  been  stated,  the  commissioner  of  the  general 
land  office  had  decided  first  that  the  river-land  grant  extended  only  to  the 
Raccoon  fork,  but  in  a  subsequent  ruling  decided  that  the  grant  extended  to 
the  north  line  of  the  state.  President  Polk's  proclamation  of  June  19,  1848, 
placing  the  odd  numbered  sections  north  of  the  Raccoon  fork  upon  the  market 
shows  that  he  did  not  think  the  grant  extended  above  the  fork.  But  the  official 
opinion  of  his  secretary  of  the  treasury,  Robert  J.  Walker,  given  March  2,  1849, 
to  the  effect  that  the  grant  extended  to  the  north  line  of  the  state  seems  to 
have  changed  his  views  so  much  that  his  proclamation  was  withdrawn  and  the 
sale  of  the  odd  sections  above  the  Raccoon  fork  by  the  government  discontinued. 

The  next  ruling  was  made  by  General  Thomas  Ewing,  who  under  the  new 
administration  of  President  Taylor  was  appointed  to  fill  the  newly  created  depart- 
ment of  secretary  of  the  interior,  to  which  all  matters  pertaining  to  the  public 
lands  had  been  assigned  by  law. 

On  the  6th  of  April,  1850,  j\Ir.  Ewing  declined  to  recognize  the  grant  as 
extending  above  the  Raccoon  fork,  w-ithout  .'an  explanatory  act  on  the  part  of 
congress.  The  state  appealed  this  ruling  to  President  Taylor,  who  turned  the 
matter  over  to  Reverdy  Johnson,  his  attornej^  general.  'Mr.  Johnson  decided  that 
the  grant  extended  to  the  north  line  of  the  state  and  that  the  ruling  of  Robert 
J.  Walker  on  the  2d  of  March,  1849,  was  a  final  adjudication  of  the  subject.'  This 
decision  settled  the  question  until  the  death  of  President  Taylor,  which  occurred 
July  10,  1850.  ^Ir.  Fillmore,  the  vice  president,  was  sw^orn  in  and  a  new  cabinet 
was  chosen. 

On  the  29th  of  October,  1851,  the  question  of  the  extent  of  the  river-land  grant 
came  up  again  and  it  was  discussed  by  Mr.  Fillmore's  cabinet  and  it  was  decided 
to  recognize  the  claim  of  the  state  and  approve  the  selection  of  the  odd  sections 
above  the  Raccoon  fork  and  to  permit  the  state  to  go  on  with  disposal  of  the 
lands  without  prejudice  to  other  claimants. 

After  this  ruling  the  question  of  extent  of  the  grant  rested  until  t86o.  of 
which  more  will  be  said  further  on  in  this  article. 

Up  to  the  date  of  December,  1853,  the  state,  through  its  board  of  public 
works,  carried  on  the  work  of  improving  the  river,  and  the  sale  of  the  lands 
included  in  the  grant.  A  land  office  for  the  sale  of  these  lands  had  in  the  mean- 
time been  established  at  Ottumwa,  Iowa. 

On  January  15,  1849.  an  act  passed  the  legislature  to  reorganize  the  board  of 
public  works,  making  their  official  terms  three  years  instead  of  two,  but  the  first 
term  of  the  secretary  was  to  be  two  years,  and  that  of  the  treasurer  one  year. 
This  would  bring  about  the  election  of  one  of  the  three  members  of  the  board 
every  year  instead  of  electing  all  three  of  them  at  one  time.  The  election  was 
held  on  the  first  Monday  in  August,   1849,  and  the  following  gentlemen   were 


234  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

chosen:  President,  William  Patterson;  secretary,  Jesse  Williams;  treasurer, 
George  Gillaspy. 

The  wording  of  this  reorganizing  act  shows  that  the  law  makers  of  1849  were 
not  altogether  satisfied  with  the  doings  of  the  board  of  public  works  for  the 
two  preceding  years. 

The  next  two  years*  experience  with  the  reorganized  board  was  but  little  more 
satisfactory  than  that  of  the  first  board.  The  result  was  that  in  February, 
1 85 1,  an  act  of  the  legislature  abolished  the  board  of  public  works,  and  in  lieu 
of  it  the  offices  of  commissioner  and  register  of  the  Des  Moines  river  improvement 
were  created  and  filled  by  appointment  of  the  governor.  The  gentlemen 
appointed  to  fill  the  new  offices  were :  For  commissioner,  Ver  Planck  Van 
Antwerp ;  register,  George  Gillaspy.  The  legislature  seems  to  have  been  very  hard 
to  please  or  else  the  men  so  far  chosen  were  a  very  unsatisfactory  lot.  At  all 
events  the  legislature  of  1853  made  a  law  providing  that  the  commissioner  and 
register  should  be  elected  by  the  voters  of  the  state  at  an  election  to  be  held  on 
the  first  Monday  in  April.  1853.  The  gentlemen  elected  were:  For  commis- 
sioner. Josiah  H.  Bonney ;  register,  George  Gillaspy.  In  1855  William  McKay 
was  elected  commissioner,  and  in  1858  William  C.  Drake  was  elected,  and  in 
i860  the  office  was  abolished.  In  1855  Joln^  C.  Lockwood  was  elected  register, 
and  in  1857  that  office  was  abolished. 

The  legislative  act  of  1863  providing  for  the  election  of  these  officers  also 
empowered  them  to  enter  into  a  contract  with  some  individual  or  company  to 
complete  the  improvement  of  the  river,  and  thus  relieve  the  state  of  the  prosecu- 
tion of  the  work.  To  assist  these  officers  in  making  and  entering  into  a  contract 
of  this  kind,  Hon.  George  C.  Wright,  of  Van  Buren  county,  afterwards  United 
States  senator,  and  Uriah  Biggs,  of  Wapello  county,  were  chosen  as  assistants. 
These  were  the  officers  who  entered  into  the  historic  contract,  first  with  Henry 
O.  Reiley,  and  then  with  the  Des  Moines  Navigation  Company,  to  complete  the 
^\■ork  of  the  improvement  of  the  river. 

For  their  services  this  navigation  company  was  to  have  all  the  lands  included 
in  the  original  land  grant  not  already  disposed  of  by  the  state.  This  contract  was 
made  June  9,  1854.  It  was  no  doubt  entered  into  with  good  intentions  on  the 
part  of  the  state  officers,  but  before  the  state  got  rid  of  the  company  it  was 
woefully  swindled.  In  fact  the  whole  river-land  business  from  start  to  finish  was 
poorly  managed  by  the  state  officers. 

The  company  took  charge  of  the  work  of  river  improvement  on  the  date  of 
their  contract,  and  continued  it  until  March  8,  1858,  at  which  time  disagreements 
and  misunderstandings  arose  between  the  state  and  the  company. 

Prior  to  the  time  of  entering  into  the  contract  with  the  Des  Moines  Navi- 
gation &  Railroad  Company  the  state  had  sold  327,314  acres  of  the  river  grant, 
the  proceeds  of  which  were  paid  out  for  salaries,  work  and  material  furnished 
during  the  time  the  state  board  of  public  works  had  charge  of  the  improvement. 
Of  the  amount  of  land  above  named  48,830  acres  were  above  the  Raccoon  fork. 
The  327,314  acres  of  land  were  sold  at  $1.25  per  acre,  the  proceeds  of  which 
were  $409,142.  It  is  a  well  settled  fact  that  the  state  was  never  benefited  a 
single  dollar  for  all  this  outlay  of  money.  That  any  set  of  men  should  fritter 
awav  such  a  vast  sum  of  monev  without  anv  visible  results  seems  incredible. 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  235 

The  Des  Moines  Navigation  Company  had  charge  of  the  improvement  from 
June  9,  1854,  to  March  22,  1858,  a  period  covering  nearly  four  years.  During  this 
time  but  little  progress  was  made  on  the  works  of  the  improvement,  and  it  was  this 
slow  and  dilatory  progress  that  caused  the  disagreement  between  it  and  the 
state. 

In  pursuance  of  this  contract  the  state  on  the  14th  of  May,  1855,  conveyed  to 
this  company  88,853  acres  of  the  land  grant,  and  again  on  the  6th  of  May,  1856, 
conveyed  116,636  acres  more,  making  in  the  two  conveyances,  205,489  acres.  At 
$1.25  an  acre  it  amounted  to  $256,861.25.  It  is  not  to  be  wondered  at  that  the 
state  should  be  dissatisfied*  over  the  avowed  expenditure  of  this  amount  of 
money  with  nothing  or  next  to  nothing  accomplished. 

On  the  22d  day  of  March,  1858,  a  proposition  for  settlement  was  made  by 
the  state,  on  the  terms  of  which  the  company  was  to  execute  to  the  state  a  full 
release  of.  all  contracts,  agreements  and  claims  against  the  state,  including  water 
rents  and  dredge  boat,  and  pay  the  state  $20,000,  and  the  state  agreed  to  convey 
to  the  navigation  company  all  of  the  lands  granted  by  congress  in  the  act  approved 
August  8.  1846,  which  up  to  that  time  had  been  approved  and  certified  to  the 
state  by  the  general  government,  except  such  as  had  been  sold. 

Although  the  state  gave  the  company  sixty  days  in  wdiich  to  accept  this  propo- 
sition, it  was  accepted  on  the  double-quick,  and  the  $20,000  was  paid.  In  pur- 
suance of  this  settlement  the  state  deeded  to  the  navigation  company  on  the  3d 
day  of  May,  1858,  256,713  acres  of  land,  and  again  on  the  i8th  of  May,  1858, 
another  patent  was  issued  to  the  company  by  the  state  conveying  9,395  acres, 
making  a  total  of  266,108  acres. 

As  has  already  been  stated,  205,489  acres  had  been  conveyed  to  this  company 
on  May  14,  1855,  and  May  6,  1856,  and  in  these  two  conveyances  266,108  acres 
more,  making  a  total  of  lands  received  by  this  company  from  the  state  of  471,597 
acres  of  land,  which  at  $1.25  an  acre  amounted  to  $589,496.25. 

This  settlement  was  one  of  the  most  colossal  swindles  which  up  to  that  date 
had  taken  place  in  the  state.  The  navigation  company  seems  to  have  had  the 
legislature  completely  under  its  control. 

In  this  settlement  the  Des  -Moines  Navigation  &  Railroad  Company  claimed 
to  have  expended  on  the  improvement,  from  first  to  last,  $554,547.84.  The  state 
commissioner  on  examination  of  the  work  figured  the  amount  expended  at 
$274,542.  A  joint  committee  of  the  legislature  had  also  reported  upon  this 
expenditure,  making  it  about  the  same  as  the  state  commissioner  had  figured  it. 
These  figures  are  given  in  a  special  message  of  Governor  Ralph  P.  Lowe  to  the 
legislature  and  dated  February  16,  1858,  only  one  month  and  six  days  before 
making  the  settlement  with  the  company. 

The  surprising  part  of  this  settlement  is  that  the  legislature  gave  to  the 
company  lands  amounting  in  cash  to  several  thousand  dollars  more  than  it  claimed 
to  have  expended,  as  the  figures  above  given  show. 

At  the  conclusion  of  this  settlement  all  further  thought  of  making  the  Des 
Moines  river  navigable  was  dispensed  with.  By  this  time  the  people  were  com- 
pletely disgusted  with  the  navigation  scheme  and  had  turned  their  thoughts  toward 
a  railroad. 

Alarch  22,  1858,  an  act  passed  the  legislature  granting  to  the  Keokuk,  Fort  Des 
Moines  &  Minnesota  Railroad  Company  all  the  lands  included  in  the  river-land 

Vol.  I— 1  6 


236  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

grant  not  then  sold  by  the  state  or  pledged  to  the  navigation  company  in  the 
settlement  just  made.  This  grant  was  made  to  aid  in  the  construction  of  a 
railroad  from  the  mouth  of  the  Des  Moines  river  to  the  north  line  of  the  state, 
provided  congress  would  consent  that  the  remainder  of  the  land  should  be  used 
for  that  purpose. 

At  the  fall  election  in  1858  the  proposition  to  so  divert  the  remainder  of  these 
lands  from  the  original  purpose  of  improving  the  navigation  of  the  river,  to  the 
building  of  the  railroad,  was  submitted  to  the  people  of  the  state  and  a  large  major- 
ity voted  in  favor  of  it.  After  this  decision  of  the  people,  congress  gave  its 
consent  that  the  remainder  of  the  lands  might  be  so  diverted. 

As  it  afterwards  developed  the  navigation  company  was  really  the  Keokuk, 
Fort  Des  Moines  &  Minnesota  Railroad  Company  and  that  instead  of  improving 
the  river  it  had  been  devoting  a  portion  of  its  time  to  the  building  of  the  railroad, 
which  at  the  time  of  the  settlement  was  completed  from  Keokuk  to  Bentonsport, 
a  distance  of  about   forty  miles. 

Work  on  the  railroad  continued  and  it  was  comi)leted  to  Ottumwa  early  in 
the  year  i860.  About  this  time  another  conflict  of  rulings  took  place  in  the 
land  department  at  Washington.  In  1859  the  Dubuque  &  Pacific  Railroad  Com- 
pany claimed  a  part  of  the  lands  conveyed  by  the  state  to  the  navigation  company, 
and  a  case  entitled  Dubuque  &  Pacific  Railroad  Company  vs.  Litchfield  was 
tried  in  the  supreme  court  in  April,  i860. 

The  court  decided  that  the  original  river-land  grant  did  not  extend  above  the 
Raccoon  fork.  This  decision  brought  the  sale  of  the  "river-land,"  as  it  was 
then  called,  and  the  further  extension  of  the  railroad  to  a  standstill.  As  a 
pacification  to  the  settlers  on  a  considerable  portion  of  these  lands  the  commis- 
sioner of  the  general  land  office  at  Washington  gave  notice  that  none  of  the 
land  would  be  sold  by  the  government  until  the  matter  was  thoroughly  con- 
sidered by  congress. 

On  the  2d  day  of  March,  1861,  congress  passed  a  joint  resolution  to  quiet 
title  to  lands  in  the  state  of  Iowa.  This  joint  resolution  was  simply  intended  to 
confirm  the  title  of  all  bona  fide  purchasers  claiming  title  to  these  lands  above  the 
Raccoon  fork,  to  whom  the  state  or  any  of  its  grantees  had  conveyed  title. 

After  the  passage  of  this  resolution  the  river  company  claimed  title  under  it, 
but  the  courts  decided  that  titles  to  real  estate  could  not  pass  by  resolution,  and 
that  an  act  of  congress  would  be  necessary  to  pass  title. 

On  the  I2th  of  July,  1862,  congress  passed  an  act  extending  the  limits  of  the 
river-land  grant  of  August  8,  1864,  from  the  Raccoon  fork  to  the  north  line  of  the 
state.  This  act  confirmed  the  title  of  the  river  company  and  the  railroad  com- 
pany, giving  them  the  privilege  of  selling  their  lands  to  the  settlers  at  an  exorb- 
itant price,  a  thing  that  greatly  troubled  and  discouraged  the  settlers  on  these 
lands.  It  was  thought  that  when  this  act  passed  congress  that  it  would  settle 
forever  the  question  of  title  to  the  land  in  dispute,  but  it  worked  such  a  hardship 
to  the  settlers  that  further  litigation  followed. 

From  first  to  last  this  land  grant  seems  to  have  been  a  stumbling  block 
among  the  officials  at  Washington.  As  late  as  1863  a  patent  was  issued  to  Hannah 
J.  Riley  for  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  of  land  in  \\'ebster  county,  signed  by 
Abraham  Lincoln.     It  seemed  to  the  settlers  that  this  patent  would  hold  the  land 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  237 

and  if  it  held  good  the  government  could  convey  also  in  like  manner  any  of  the 
lands  claimed  by  a  river  company. 

In  1868  a  man  named  Wells,  who  was  a  grantee  of  the  river  company  brought 
action  to  dispossess  Mrs.  Riley  of  the  home  on  which  she  held  the  patent  above 
referred  to.  The  court  decided  that  the  river-land  title  was  good  and  assessed 
the  cost  against  Mrs.  Riley,  after  which  papers  for  her  eviction  were  issued  and 
executed.  This  was  the  last  of  the  court  decisions  and  under  it  most  of  the 
settlers  who  did  not  buy  their  homes  at  an  advanced  price  were  forced  off  of 
them  by  orders  from  the  courts.  Finally  in  1894  an  act  to  indemnify  the  settlers 
was  passed  and  the  few  remaining  ones  received  a  small  compensation  for  the 
home  they  were  forced  to  leave.  This  ended  the  historic  river-land  trouble 
extending  over  a  period  of  forty-eight  years,  beginning  in  1846  and  ending  in  1894. 

PREFACE 

The  last  bit  of  copy  has  gone  to  the  printer,  and  now  the  author  writes  the 
preface,  the  thing  which  should  have  been  written  first,  but  which  can  the  better 
be  written  last. 

It  has  been  more  than  a  year  since  the  author  began  to  write  what  was  to  be 
a  "History  of  Fort  Dodge  and  Webster  County."  At  the  time,  we  fully  realized 
the  largeness  and  importance  of  the  subject,  and  reluctantly  began  a  work  which 
others,  far  abler,  were  unwilling  to.  undertake.  The  w^ork  is  now  finished,  and 
without  apologies  it  is  given  to  the  public.  Many  times  the  work  has  been  inter- 
rupted, and  it  has  been  written  under  the  niost  unfavorable  circumstances.  Even 
if  it  had  not  so  been,  it  would  not- be  surprising  if  some  errors  and  misstatements 
existed.  If  there  be  aught  of  good,.we  ask  your  praise;  and  for  the  bad,  we 
bespeak  your  charity.  If  its  errors  prei'ent  the  next  writer  from  committing  sim- 
ilar ones,  the  work  will  not  have  been  in  vain.  Many  of  those  who  were  party  to 
the  deeds  of  the  "fifties''  are  no  longer  here.  Fading  memories  fail  to  agree. 
Records  have  become  illegible  and  are  many  times  wanting.  Often  it  is  difiicult 
to  arrive  at  the  truth,  ^^'here  none  agree,  the  author  can  claim  the  privilege  of 
being  right. 

No  matter  how  comprehensive  may  have  been  the  ideas  and  ideals  of  the 
author  in  the  beginning,  the  work  as  ended  is  not  a  complete  history  of  Webster 
county,  nor  does  it  so  pretend.  It  is  but  a  collection  of  sketches  dealing  with  the 
incidents  of  community  life,  past  and  present.  ]\Iany  things  have  been  omitted, 
not  so  much  through  lack  of  merit,  as  through  lack  of  knowledge  of  their  exist- 
ence, of  time  in  which  to  ascertain  the  facts,  or  of  space  in  which  to  publish  them. 

In  order  that  we  may  avoid  the  criticism  of  plagiarizing,  we  make  no  claims  to 
originality.  We  have  begged,  borrowed  and  even  stolen — and  history  often  crowns 
W'ith  a  halo  those  who  do  all  three. 

The  author  desires  to  thus  publicly  thank  the  friends  who  contributed  articles, 
Prof.  L.  G.  Weld,  of  Chicago.  Prof.  James  H.  Lees,  of  Des  Moines,  state  geologist, 
Mr.  C.  L.  Lucas,  of  Madrid,  Hon.  L.  S.  Coffin  and  j\Ir.  C.  G.  Messerole. 
Thanks  are  also  due  to  ]^Iiss  Cecil  Palmer,  who  gave  much  valuable  assistance  in 
doing  research  work,  as  did  also  the  members  of  the  library  staff.  The  writings 
of  Gov.  C.  C.  Carpenter,  of   >\Iaj.  William  Williams,  and  his   son,   Mr.    J.   B. 


238  I-TISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

Williams,  were  often  consulted  and  quoted.     An  aid  many  times  referred  to  was 
the  "scrap  books"  of  Mrs.  C.  B.  Hepler. 

Love  of  country  and  pride  in  its  past  history  are  the  strength  of  the  present 
and  the  inspiration  of  the  future.  Codified  laws  form  but  a  small  part  of  the 
mandates  which  rule  society.  Stronger  than  man-made  laws  are  the  bonds  of  a 
civilization  which  stretching  back  into  the  past,  touch  the  consciences,  hearts 
and  minds  of  the  people  of  a  former  time.  Our  faces  may  be  ever  toward  the  goal, 
but  our  way  is  marked  by  the  "blazed  trail"  of  the  pioneer,  and  our  feet  follow 
the  well-worn  path  which  he  made.  American  history  differs  from  that  of  every 
other  country,  being  the  history  of  the  "blazed  trail,"  that  marks  an  ever  west- 
ward advancing  frontier.  "In  the  pride  of  our  present  achievements,"  says  Hon. 
George  F.  Parker,  the  biographer  of  Grover  Cleveland,  "we  proceed  upon  the 
assumption  that  we  owe  nothing  to  our  immediate  ancestors,  but  that  every- 
thing is  of  our  own  doing.  No  duty  is  more  imperative  upon  any  generation  than 
that  of  looking  backward  as  well  as  forward."  If  the  look  backward  which  the 
author  has  tried  to  describe,  prove  either  a  profit  or  a  pleasure  to  the  reader,  the 
work  will  not  have  been  in  vain. 

H.  M.  Pr.\tt. 

Fort  Dodge,  Iowa. 

January  20.   191 3. 

DEDICATION 

To  those  pioneers  of  the  "blazed  trail,"  the  records  of  whose  achievements  are 
worthy  of  a  better  chronicler,  but  whose  broad-minded  charity  will  overlook  its 
faults,  this  book  is  dedicated. 

"The  record  of  the  pioneers 

Whose  toils,  whose  genius,  made  you  great." 

S.  H.  M.  BvERS. 


CHAPTER  XXII 
THE  CARDIFF  GIANT 

GEORGE   HULL  SEEKS  GEOLOGICAL  SPECIMENS — DIFFICULTIES  OF  TRANSPORTATION — 

DISCOVERY    OF    THE    GIANT THE    DOCTORS    BELIEVE SKEPTICISM    BEGINS THE 

GIANT    IS    SOLD EXPOSURE   OF    THE    HOAX HELD    FOR    STORAGE HULL    IN    HIS 

OLD   AGE  TELLS   HOW   THE   GIANT   CAME   TO    BE. 

It  was  in  the  early  part  of  the  month  of  Julv,  1868,  that  two  young  men  came 
to  Fort  Dodge,  and  took  up  their  residence  for  a  few  days  at  the  Old  Saint 
Charles  hotel.  They  registered  as  George  Hull  of  Syracuse,  N.  Y.,  and  Mr. 
Martin  of  Cedar  Rapids,  Iowa.  They  pretended  to  be  here  on  the  mission  of 
studying  the  geological  formations  in  the  vicinity  of  Fort  Dodge.  After  making 
some  inquiries  as  to  the  location  of  ledges  of  out-cropping  rock  they  finally 
selected  a  tract  where  there  was  a  ledge  of  gypsum  rock,  and  purchased  an  acre 
of  the  land.  It  was  their  intention  to  do  their  own  quarrying  and  work.  After 
several  attempts  to  secure  a  block  of  gypsum  of  the  desired  shape  and  size,  with 
a  failure  added  each  time,  they  were  informed  that  there  was  a  man  living  in 
the  vicinity,  who  could  probably  do  the  job.  At  that  time  Michael  Foley,  a  resi- 
dent of  Fort  Dodge,  was  engaged  in  taking  out  rock  for  the  railroad,  and  to  him 
they  disclosed  their  desire  for  a  slab  of  gypsum  rock  of  a  certain  size.  No  satis- 
factory explanation  was  given  Mr.  Foley  at  that  time  as  to  what  use  was  to  be 
made  of  the  stone.  The  contract,  how^ever,  was  let  to  Mr.  Foley,  and  he  fur- 
nished them  a  stone  about  twenty  feet  long,  three  feet  wide,  and  eighteen  inches 
in  thickness.  The  weight  of  the  rock  made  the  matter  of  transporting  it  a  difficult 
problem  on  account  of  the  lack  of  roads  at  that  early  period.  It  had  to  be  hauled 
to  Boone,  Iowa,  forty-five  miles  distant,  at  that  time  the  nearest  railroad  station 
to  Fort  Dodge. 

The  rock  was  loaded  upon  a  wagon  to  which  was  hitched  six  teams  of  oxen. 
The  original  contractor  became  discouraged  with  the  progress  that  he  was  mak- 
ing, and  gave  up  the  job,  after  hauling  the  stone  as  far  as  a  point  somewhere 
between  Brushy  Creek  and  Homer.  A  second  man  tried  the  task,  and  in  turn 
failed.  Arrangements  were  then  made  with  two  brothers,  living  at  Border 
Plains,  Joel  and  Jerid  Wilson,  who  after  some  deliberation  with  the  principals, 
chipped  ofif  some  twelve  hundred  pounds  of  the  stone,  and  having  thus  lightened 
the  load  finally  reached  the  railroad  station  at  Boone  with  the  remainder.  In 
hauling  it  the  contractors  had  followed  the  stage  route  between  Des  Moines, 
Boone  and  Fort  Dodge,  and  the  passengers  saw  the  strange  load,  both  in  transit, 
and  also  as  it  lay  beside  the  road  when  abandoned  by  the  first  party,  who  had 
agreed  to  transport  it  to  Boone.     Among  the  passengers  of  that  early  day  was 

239 


240  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

]\Ir.  A.  N.  Botsford,  now  the  dean  in  the  practice  of  law  in  Fort  Dodge,  and  who 
says  that  during  the  month  of  August  in  that  year  as  he  was  coming  to  Fort 
Dodge,  he  saw  the  men  taking  the  chips  from  the  stone.  The  stage  passed  the 
load  four  times  a  week  for  three  weeks  while  the  rock  was  on  the  way  to  Boone. 
The  job  cost  Mr.  Hull  $200.00,  and  had  it  not  been  for  his  indomitable  will,  that 
again  and  again  overcame  difficulties,  it  would  have  remained  on  the  road. 

The  stone  was  loaded  upon  a  flat  car  at  Boone  and  billed  to  Chicago.  It  was 
then  taken  to  the  stone  yard  of  a  man  named  Burghart  on  North  Clark  street. 
Here  it  was  placed  in  the  hands  of  two  German  stone  cutters,  Saile  and  Menk- 
ham,  who  carved  it  into  the  form  of  a  giant,  pricked  it  with  a  leaden  mallet 
faced  with  needles  to  give  it  the  resemblance  of  the  human  skin,  and  applied  a 
solution  of  sulphuric  acid  to  give  it  the  appearance  of  age.  Because  the  rock 
had  been  shortened  in  order  to  lighten  the  weight  when  hauling,  the  sculptors  in 
giving  it  final  shape,  had  to  shorten  the  limbs,  and  in  so  doing  were  compelled  to 
draw  up  the  lower  limbs,  giving  them  a  strikingly  contracted  and  agonized  ap- 
pearance. Under  one  side  there  was  a  grooved  and  channeled  appearance,  as 
though  it  had  been  washed  away  during  the  ages  that  it  had  passed  through. 

After  the  applications  had  been  made  to  give  it  the  appearance  of  great  age,  it 
w-as  placed  in  an  iron  case,  and  shipped  to  George  Olds,  Union,  N.  Y.  It  arrived 
there  upon  the  13th  day  of  October,  1868,  and  upon  the  4th  day  of  November, 
it  was  receipted  for  and  taken  away.  Its  shipping  weight  was  about  4,000 
pounds,  the  giant  itself  weighing  about  3,000  pounds. 

From  Union  it  was  taken  to  a  farm  owned  by  a  party  b}'  the  name  of  Newell, 
who  proved  to  be  the  brother-in-law  of  Hull.  The  party  who  hauled  the  case 
from  Union  station  down  the  valley  drove  across  the  country  in  order  that  no 
questions  should  be  asked  when  passing  the  toll  gates.  The  distance  was  about 
sixteen  miles.  They  reached  the  Newell  farm  at  midnight  in  a  pouring  rain. 
The  box  was  first  placed  back  of  the  barn  and  covered  with  hay  and  straw.  Two 
weeks  later  it  was  buried  in  a  grave  five  foot  deep.  Here  it  remained  until  Octo- 
ber i6th,   1869,  nearly  a  year  from  the  date  of  its  burial. 

It  was  while  pretending  to  dig  a  well  upon  his  farm  that  Newell  struck  this 
strange  piece  of  stone,  and  at  once  created  such  interest  as  to  arouse  the  whole 
country  for  the  time.  The  seriousness  with  which  some  people  took  the  dis- 
covery will  be  more  interesting  by  reporting  some  of  the  authorities  of  the  day 
concerning  the  genuineness  and  worth  to  science  of  this  great  find.  Dr.  James 
Hall,  professor  of  geology  of  the  University  of  New  York  said:  "To  all  ap- 
pearances the-  statue  lay  upon  the  gravel  when  the  decomposition  of  the  fine 
silt  or  soil  began,  upon  which  the  forest  has  grown  for  the  succeeding  genera- 
tions. Altogether  it  is  the  most  remarkable  object  brought  to  light  in  this 
country.  Although  not  dating  back  to  the  stone  age,  it  is  nevertheless,  deserv- 
ing of  the  attention  of  the  archaeologist." 

A  pastor  of  one  of  the  leading  churches  of  Syracuse,  said:  "It  is  not  strange 
that  any  human  being,  after  seeing  this  wonderfully  preserved  figure,  can  deny 
the  evidence  of  his  senses  and  refuse  to  believe  what  is  so  evidently  the  fact, 
that  we  have  here  a  fossilized  human  being,  perhaps  one  of  the  giants." 

A  lady,  who  was  looking  at  the  giant,  remarked :  "Nothing  in  the  world 
can  ever  make  me  believe  that  he  was  not  once  a  living  being." 


CAEDIFF  GIANT 


.AVV 


^°'.»o"* 


O*" 


^^,A% 


.^^0V> 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  241 

Another  prominent  clergyman  voiced  his  opinion  as  follows :     "This  is  not  a 
thing  contrived  by  man,  but  is  the  face  of  one  that  once  lived  upon  the  earth,  " 
the  very  image,  and  child  of  God." 

Dr.  Boynton,  a  local  scientific  lecturer,  in  an  address,  said,  that  "he  attrib- 
uted it  to  the  early  Jesuits."  Another  lecturer  added  to  this  as  follows:  "It  is 
the  work  of  a  trained  sculptor,  who  had  noble  original  powers ;  for  none  but 
such  could  have  formed  and  wrought  out  the  conception  of  that  stately  head, 
with  its  calm  smile  so  full  of  mingled  sweetness  and  strength."  A  prominent 
editor  of  the  vicinity  wrote  in  his  editorial :  "It  is  not  unsafe  to  affirm  that 
ninety-nine  out  of  every  hundred  person  that  have  seen  this  wonder  have 
become  immediately  and  instantly  impressed  that  they  were  in  the  presence  of 
an  object  not  made  with  human  hands.  No  piece  of  sculpture  could  produce 
the  awe  inspired  by  this  blackened  form.  I  venture  to  affirm  that  no  living 
sculptor  can  be  produced,  who  will  say  that  the  figure  was  conceived  and  exe- 
cuted by  any  human  being."  As  an  actual  fact  it  was  defective  in  proportion 
and  features,  and  simply  a  poor  job  of  stone  cutting. 

Alexander  AlcWorter,  a  resident  student  and  graduate  of  Yale,  took  the 
pains  to  make  closer  observations  of  the  remains  than  others  had,  and  suc- 
ceeded, as  he  presumed,  in  finding  an  inscription  consisting  of  thirteen  letters, 
"introduced,"  as  he  said,  "by  a  large  cross,  the  Assyrian  index  of  the  Deity." 
Before  the  last  word,  he  thought  that  he  perceived  a  flower,  which  he  regarded 
as  consecrated  to  the  particular  deity  Tammuz,  and  at  both  ends  of  the  inscrip- 
tion a  serpent  monogram  and  symbol  of  Baal.  This  inscription  he  assumed  as 
an  evident  fact,  though  no  other  human  being  had  been  able  to  see  it.  Even 
Professor  White,  M.  D.,  of  the  Yale  Medical  school,  with  the  best  of  inten- 
tions to  see  it,  was  unable  to  find  it.  White  examined  the  pinholes  that  covered 
the  body,  and  expressed  himself  finally,  thus :  "Though  I  saw  no  recent  marks 
of  tools,  I  saw  evidences  of  design  and  form  in  the  arrangement  of  the  mark- 
ings, which  suggested  the  idea  of  an  inscription,  and  though  not  fully  decided, 
I  incline  to  the  opinion,  that  the  Onondaga  statue  is  of  ancient  origin."  Against 
such  authority  and  publicity  it  was  very  difficult  to  create  any  feeling  of  doubt. 
In  the  minds  of  many  thoughtful  people  the  giant  was  a  fact,  a  reality;  and  so 
many  persons  had  become  interested  in  it,  that  this  belief  was  constantly  increas- 
ing. 

One  of  the  first  ones  to  oppose  the  idea  of  the  reality  of  the  giant  was  Hon. 
Andrew  D.  White.  Upon  his  first  visit  he  proclaimed  it  a  hoax,  "because,"  as 
he  said,  "there  was  no  reason  for  digging  a  well  at  this  place,  as  upon  the  farm 
was  a  spring,  and  also  a  running  stream  convenient  both  to  the  barn  and  house." 
He  gives  a  description  of  his  first  visit  as  follows : 

"And  as  we  drove  through  the  peaceful  Onondaga  valley,  we  saw  more  and 
more  on  every  side,  the  evidence  of  the  popular  interest.  The  roads  were 
crowded  with  buggies,  carriages  and  wagons  from  the  city  and  farms.  When 
we  arrived  at  the  Newell  farm,  we  found  a  gathering,  that  reminded  us  of 
the  gathering  at  a  county  fair.  In  the  midst  was  a  tent,  and  a  crowd  was 
pressing  for  admission.  Entering,  we  saw  a  large  pit,  or  grave,  and  at  the  bot- 
tom of  it,  perhaps  five  feet  below  the  surface,  an  enormous  figure,  apparently 
of  the  Onondaga  limestone.     It  was  a  stout  giant  with  massive  features,  the 


242  HISTORY.  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

whole  body  nude,  and  the  limbs  contracted  as  if  in  agony.  Lying  there  in  the 
grave,  the  subdued  light  from  the  roof  of  the  tent  falling  upon  it,  and  with  its 
limbs  contorted,  as  if  in  the  death  struggle,  it  produced  a  most  weird  effect. 
An  air  of  great  solemnity  pervaded  the  place.  Visitors  hardly  spoke  above  a 
whisper." 

There  was  one  thing  about  the  figure,  however,  which  puzzled  Mr.  White,  as 
he  says,  "and  that  was  the  grooving  of  the  under  side  apparently  by  currents  of 
water,  which  as  the  statue  appeared  to  be  of  Onondaga  gray  limestone,  would 
require  very  many  years." 

One  day  one  of  the  cool-headed  skeptics  of  the  valley  (an  old  school  mate 
of  Mr.  White's),  came  to  him  and  with  an  air  of  great  solemnity,  took  from 
his  pocket  an  object  which  he  carefully  unrolled  from  its  wrappings,  and  said: 
"This  is  a  piece  of  the  giant.  Careful  guard  has  been  kept  from  the  first  in 
order  to  prevent  people  touching  it,  but  I  have  managed  to  get  a  piece  of  it, 
and  here  it  is."  'T  took  it  in  my  hand,"  says  Mr.  White,  "and  the  matter  was 
clear  in  an  instant.  The  stone  was  not  our  hard  Onondaga  gray  limestone,  but 
soft  easily  marked  with  the  finger-nail,  and  on  testing  it  with  an  acid,  I  found 
it  not  hard  carbonate  of  lime,  but  a  friable  sulphate  of  lime,  a  sort  of  gypsum, 
which  must  have  been  brought  from  some  other  part  of  the  country." 

Against  the  opinion  that  the  figure  was  a  hoax  various  argvmients  were  used. 
It  was  insisted,  first,  that  the  farmer  had  not  the  ability  to  devise  such  a  fraud ; 
second,  that  he  had  not  the  means  to  execute  it ;  third,  that  his  family  had  lived 
there  steadily  for  many  years,  and  were  ready  to  declare,  under  oath,  that  they 
had  never  seen  the  figure,  and  had  known  nothing  of  it,  until  it  was  accidentally 
discovered;  fourth,  that  the  neighbors  had  never  seen  or  heard  of  it;  fifth, 
that  it  was  preposterous  to  suppose  that  such  an  enormous  mass  of  stone  could 
have  been  brought  and  buried  in  the  place  without  some  one  finding  it  out ; 
sixth,  that  the  deep  grooves  and  channels  worn  in  it  by  the  surface  water  proved 
its  vast  antiquity. 

To  these  considerations  others  were  soon  added.  Especially  interesting  was 
it  to  observe  the  evolution  of  myth  and  legend.  Within  a  week  after  the  dis- 
covery, full-blown  statements  appeared  to  the  efl:'ect  that  the  neighboring  Indians 
had  abundant  traditions  of  giants,  who  formerly  roamed  over  the  hills  of 
Onondaga ;  and  finally  the  circumstantial  story  was  evolved  that  an  Onondaga 
squaw  had  declared,  "in  an  impressive  manner,"  that  the  statue  was,  "undoubt- 
edly the  petrified  body  of  a  gigantic  Indian  prophet,  who  flourished  many  cen- 
turies ago  and  foretold  the  coming  of  the  pale-faces,  and  who,  just  before  his 
own  death,  said  to  those  about  him  that  their  descendants  would  see  him  again." 
To  these  were  added  the  reflections  of  many  good  people  who  found  in  it  all  an 
edifying  confirmation  of  the  biblical  text,  "There  were  giants  in  those  days." 
There  was  indeed,  an  undercurrent  of  skepticism  among  the  harder  heads  in 
the  valley,  but  the  prevailing  opinion  in  the  region  at  large  was  more  and  more 
in  favor  of  the  idea  that  the  object  was  a  fossilized  human  being,  a  giant  of 
"those  days."  Such  was  the  rush  to  see  the  figure  that  the  admission  receipts 
were  very  large ; — it  was  e\en  stated  that  they  amounted  to  five  per  cent  upon 
three  millions  of  dollars.  And  soon  came  active  men  from  the  neighboring 
regions,  who  proposed  to  purchase  the  figure  and  exhibit  it  throughout  the 
country. 


HOUSE   BUILT   OF  GYPSUM  KOCK  BY  JOHN  O'LAUGHLIN 


HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  243 

Various  suspicious  circumstances  presently  became  known.  It  was  found 
that  Farmer  Newell  had  just  remitted  to  a  man  named  Hull  at  some  place  in 
the  west,  several  thousand  dollars,  the  result  of  admission  fees  to  the  booth  con- 
taining the  figure,  and  that  nothing  had  come  in  return.  Thinking  men  in  the 
neighborhood  reasoned  that  as  Newell  had  never  been  in  condition  to  owe  any- 
human  being  such  an  amount  of  money,  and  had  received  nothing  in  return 
for  it,  his  correspondent  had  not  unlikely  something  to  do  with  the  statue. 
These  suspicions  were  soon  confirmed.  The  neighboring  farmers,  who  in  their 
quiet  way  kept  their  eyes  open,  noted  a  tall,  lank  person  who  frequently  visited 
the  place,  and  who  seemed  to  exercise  a  complete  control  over  Farmer  Newell. 
Soon  it  was  learned  that  this  stranger  was  the  man  Hull,  Newell's  brother-in- 
law,  the  same  to  whom  the  latter  had  made  the  large  remittance  of  admission 
money.  One  day  two  or  three  farmers  from  a  distance  visiting  the  place  for  the 
first  time,  and  seeing  Hull  said :  "Why  that  is  the  man  who  brought  the  big 
box  down  the  valley.''  On  being  asked  what  they  meant,  they  said  that,  being 
one  evening  in  a  tavern  on  the  valley  turnpike,  some  miles  above  Cardiff,  they 
had  noticed  under  the  tavern  shed,  a  wagon  bearing  an  enormous  box,  and  when 
they  met  Hull  in  the  bar-room  and  asked  about  it,  he  said  that  it  was  some 
tobacco-cutting  machinery  which  he  was  bringing  to  Syracuse.  Other  farmers, 
who  had  seen  the  box  and  talked  with  Hull  at  different  places  on  the  road 
between  Binghamton  and  Cardiff',  made  similar  statements.  It  was  then  ascer- 
tained that  no  such  box  had  passed  the  toll-gates  between  Cardiff  and  Syracuse, 
and  proofs  of  the  swindle  began  to  mature. 

Before  the  whole  affair  became  exposed  considerable  time  had  passed.  Dur- 
ing this  time  Mr.  Newell  had  the  giant  on  exhibition,  and  was  charging  the 
curious  ones  fifty  cents  admission  fee.  Years  afterward,  Mr.  Hull  made  the 
statement  that  they  realized  about  seven  thousand  dollars  before  the  giant  was 
taken  from  its  grave. 

Spencer  of  Utica,  and  Higgins,  Gillett  and  Westcott  of  Syracuse,  saw  that  the 
secret  w'ould  soon  leak  out,  offered  Newell  $30,000  for  three-fourths  interest  in 
the  giant,  leaving  Newell  one-fourth.  Hull  was  still  in  the  background  and 
very  much  disgusted.  He  says  that  Newell  became  so  puft'ed  up  with  the 
importance  of  the  secret,  that  he  could  not  contain  himself,  and  told  it  to  sev- 
eral of  his  relatives  and  friends.  Hull  decided  to  realize  at  once  and  quit.  He 
told  Newell  to  close  the  bargain,  which  he  did,  and  Newell  paid  Hull  $20,000 
as  his  share. 

After  Hull  and  Newell  had  disposed  of  the  giant,  it  was  taken  about  the 
country,  and  in  spite  of  the  exposure,  still  drew  large  crowds.  It  had  many 
imitators,  but  none  proved  to  be  the  attraction  that  the  original  had  been. 
Finally  the  giant  became  no  longer  a  drawing  card,  and  was  stranded  at  Fitch- 
burg,  Massachusetts,  where  it  was  held  for  storage  charges  until  the  Pan- 
American  Exposition  at  Buffalo,  when  it  was  again  exhibited. 

After  the  exposition  was  over,  it  was  returned  to  Fitchburg,  where  it  still 
remains  as  part  of  the  assets  of  an  estate.  The  story  of  the  giant  formed  a 
part  of  the  novel,  "Your  Uncle  Lew"  by'  C.  R.  Sherlock. 

Mr.  Alfred  Higgins,  one  of  the  original  purchasers,  from  Newell  and  Hull, 
is  still  living  at  Syracuse,  New  York.  Cicorge  Hull  died  at  the  home  of  his 
daughter  in  Binghamton,  New  York,  at  the  age  of  eighty-one  years.     Although 


244  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

he  has  twice  been  a  rich  man,  yet  he  died  in  poverty.  Some  time  before  4iis 
death  in  an  interview  for  the  "Sunday  Times"  of  his  home  city,  he  told  the 
story  of  the  giant.  In  answer  to  the  question  as  to  how  the  idea  happened  to 
come  to  him,  he  said : 

"It  was  at  Ackley,  Iowa,  that  I  first  conceived  the  idea  of  fooling  the  world 
with  the  big  stone  man.  I  had  some  relatives  at  Ackley,  and  sent  my  sister's 
husband  10,000  cigars  to  sell.  He  couldn't  pay  me  and  I  went  out  there  to  see 
about  it.  At  that  time  a  -Methodist  revivalist  was  in  Ackley,  and  prayed  all 
over  the  settlement.  The  people  were  too  poor  to  pay  him  anything,  and  he 
boarded  around.  One  night  he  was  at  my  sister's  house,  and  after  supper  we 
had  a  long  discussion  and  a  hot  one.  I  was  then  and  am  now  an  atheist.  At 
midnight  we  went  to  bed,  and  as  I  lay  awake  wondering  why  people  would 
believe  those  remarkable  stories  in  the  Bible  about  giants,  when  suddenly  I 
thought  of  making  a  stone  giant  and  passing  it  off  as  a  petrified  man.  I 
returned  to  Binghampton  and  sold  out  my  business,  went  to  Wisconsin,  where 
the  idea  continued  to  haunt  me,  and  went  back  to  New  York  state  with  my  fam- 
ily and  finally  returned  to  Iowa.    But  I  didn't  go  near  my  folks  at  Ackley." 

Mr.  Hull  in  the  remainder  of  the  interview  tells  of  how  he  carried  out  his 
idea,  how  he  realized  a  goodly  sum  for  it,  how  he  refused  Barnum,  who  offered 
a  large  amount  for  it,  and  how,  although  beaten  in  argument,  he  had  still  made  a 
laughing  stock  of  the  world. 


CHAPTER  XXIII 
BREAKIXG  PRAIRIE  AND  OTHER  SKETCHES 

THE  OLD  BREAKING  PLOW TURNING  TPIE  SOD "sOD   CORN" THE   PRAIRIE  SLOUGH 

—HISTORY    OF   DRAINAGE A    MILLION    AND   A    QUARTER   OF   DOLLARS   SPENT    FOR 

COUNTY    DRAINAGE THE    CO-OPERATIVE    MOVEMENT — FIGHTING    THE    COMBINE 

A    CO-OPERATIVE  INDUSTRY COUNTRY   LIFE  OF  LOST   GROVE. 

BREAKING  PRAIRIE 

By  Hon.  L.  S.  Coffin 

How  few  of  our  people  who  have  been  residents  of  Iowa  during  the  last  quar- 
ter of  the  last  century,  either  by  immigration  or  by  birth,  have  any  conception  of 
the  meaning  of  the  expression,  "breaking  prairie!''  The  old  prairie  breaking- 
plow  has  disappeared  from  sight  as  completely  as  the  elk  and  builalo.  So  true  is 
this,  that  the  authorities  of  our  State  Agricultural  College  have  been  hunting  for 
one  for  the  museum  of  that  institutionfi  as  an  object-lesson  and  a  reminder  to 
their  students  of  the  days  and  ways  of  early  farm  life  on  the  prairie,  of  which 
they  know  very  little  or  nothing. 

Let  us  permit  the  old  "breaking-plow"  to  stand  in  its  wide  furrow  of  20  to  32 
inches,  a  few  minutes,  while  we  digress  far  enough  from  our  subject  to  wish  it 
were  possible  that  another  object-lesson  could  be  laid  before  the  students  of  our 
grand  institution  of  learning  at  Ames.  That  object-lesson,  if  my  wish  could  be 
realized,  \vould  be  an  average  lOO-acre  X^ew  England  farm,  as  it  was  fifty  to 
seventy  years  ago,  and  it  is  today,  with  all  its  appliances,  laid  down  there  near 
the  college  farm.  The  young  and  middle-aged  people  of  this  state,  who  have 
been  born  in  Iowa,  and  live  on  its  rockless,  hilless,  stumpless  and  matchless  soil, 
have  but  little  realizing  sense  of  the  incomparable  advantages  they  have  in  being 
residents  of  such  a  state. 

It  is  the  custom  with  many  of  the  graduates  of  our  institutions  of  learning,  to 
spend  a  year  or  more  abroad.  I  could  wish  that  the  graduates  from  the  agricul- 
tural course  could  go  to  some  the  New  England  states  and  work  a  year  or  so 
on  some  of  those  farms.  The  benefit  would  be  almost  incalculable.  But  we  cannot 
now  take  the  time  to  explain  how  and  why.  To  many  of  the  farmers  of  Iowa, 
who  were  X'^ew  England  born,  no  explanation  is  needed. 

But  to  return  to  the  old  prairie  breaking-plow,  which  we  left  standing  in  the 
furrow.  All  attempts  to  present  a  word  picture  of  it  must  fail  to  give  any  per- 
son who  has  never  seen  one,  a  true  idea  of  the  real  thing.  These  plows,  as  a 
rule,  were  very  large.     They  were  made  to  cut  and  turn  a  furrow  from  twenty 

245 


246  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

to  thirty  inches  wide  and  sometimes  even  wider.  The  beam  was  a  straight  stick 
of  strong  timber  seven  to  twelve  feet  long.  The  first  coulter  was  a  steel  blade 
fastened  to  the  beam,  and  extending  down  close  to  the  point  of  the  "shear,"  to 
cut  the  sod  preparatory  to  its  being  turned  over;  but  later  on  the  rolling-colter 
was  invented,  as  we  are  informed  by  John  Deere,  of  Moline,  Illinois,  who  also 
invented  the  steel  plow.  This  sharp,  circular  disk  cut  the  sod  much  better  than 
the  primitive  straight  blade.  The  word  is  spelled  variously,  as  "colter,"  "coulter," 
and  "cutter."  The  forward  end  of  this  beam  was  carried  by  a  pair  of  trucks  or 
wheels,  and  into  the  top  of  the  axle  of  these  wheels  were  framed  two  stout,  up- 
right pieces  just  far  enough  apart  to  allow  the  forward  end  of  the  plow-beam  to 
nicely  fit  in  between  them.  To  the  forward  end  of  the  beam  and  on  top  of  it, 
there  was  fastened  by  a  link  or  clevis,  a  long  lever,  running  between  these  stout 
standards  in  the  axle  of  the  trucks,  and  fastened  to  them  by  a  strong  bolt  run- 
ning through  both  standards  and  lever;  this  bolt,  acting  as  a  fulcrum  for  the 
lever,  was  in  easy  reach  of  the  man  having  charge  of  the  plow.  By  raising  or 
depressing  the  rear  end  of  this  lever  the  depth  of  the  furrow  was  gauged,  and 
by  depressing  the  lever  low  enough,  the  plow  could  be  thrown  entirely  outxif  the 
ground.  One  of  the  wheels  of  the  truck  ran  in  the  furrow  and  was  from  two  to 
four  inches  larger  than  the  one  that  ran  on  the  sod.  This,  of  course,  was  neces- 
sary so  as  to  have  an  even,  level  rest  for  the  forward  end  of  the  plow-beam.  The 
mould-boards  of  these  plows  were  sometimes  made  of  wood  protected  by  nar- 
row-strips of  steel  or  band-iron,  and  fastened  to  the  mould-board.  In  some  cases 
these  mould-boards  were  made  entirely  of  iron  rods,  which  generally  gave  the 
best  satisfaction.  The  share  of  these  plow^s — "shear,"  as  we  western  folks  called 
it — had  to  be  made  of  the  very  best  steel  so  as  to  carry  a  keen  edge.  The  original 
prairie  sod  was  one  web  of  small  tough  roots,  and  hence  the  necessity,  of  a  razor- 
like edge  on  the  "shear"  to  secure  good  work  and  ease  to  the  team. 

And  next,  the  "prairie-breaking"  plow  team?  Who  sees  the  like  of  it  today? 
A  string  of  from  three  to  six  yokes  of  oxen  hitched  to  this  long  plow-beam,  the 
driver  clad  in  somewhat  of  a  cowboy  style,  and  armed  with  a  whip,  the  handle 
of  which  resembled  a  long,  slender  fishing-rod,  with  a  lash  that  when  wielded  by 
an  expert  was  so  severe  that  the  oven  had  learned  to  fear  it  as  much  as  the  New 
England  oxen  did  the  Yankee  ox-goad  with  its  brad. 

The  season  for  "breaking-prairie"  varied  as  the  spring-  and  summer  were 
early  or  late,  wet  or  dry.  The  best  results  were  had  by  beginning  to  plow  after 
the  grass  had  a  pretty  good  start,  and  quitting  the  work  some  time  before  it  was 
ready  for  the  scythe.  The  main  object  aimed  at  was  to  secure  as  complete  a 
rotting  of  the  sod  as  possible.  To  this  end  the  plow  was  gauged  to  cut  only  one 
and  one-half  to  two  inches  deep.  Then,  if  the  mould-board  was  so  shaped  as  to 
"kink"  the  sod  as  it  was  turned  over,  all  the  better,  as  in  the  early  days  of 
"prairie-breaking"  very  little  use  was  made  of  the  ground  the  first  year.  The 
object  was  to  have  the  land  in  as  good  a  shape  as  possible  for  sowing  wheat  the 
following  spring.  A  dry  season,  thin  breaking,  "kinky"  furrows,  and  not  too 
long  breaking  accomplished  this,  and  made  the  putting  in  of  wheat  the  follow- 
ing spring  an  easy  task.  But  on  the  contrary,  if  broken  too  deeply,  and  the  fur- 
rows laid  flat  and  smooth,  or  in  a  wet  season,  or  if  broken  too  late,  the  job  of 
seeding  the  wheat  on  tough  sod  was  a  hard  and  slow  one. 

The  outfit  for  "prairie-breaking"  was  usually  about  as  follows :  three  to  six 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  247 

yokes  of  oxen,  a  covered  wagon,  a  small  kit  of  tools,  and  among  these  always  a 
good  assortment  of  files  for  sharpening  the  plow-share,  a  few  cooking  utensils, 
and  sometimes  a  dog  and  pony.  The  oxen,  when  the  day's  work  was  done,  were 
turned  loose  to  feed  on  the  grass.  To  one  or  more  was  attached  a  far-sounding 
bell,  so  as  to  betray  their  whereabouts  at  all  times.  The  pony  and  dog  came  in 
good  play  for  company,  and  in  gathering  up  the  oxen  when  wanted.  The  season 
for  breaking  would  average  about  two  months.  The  price  per  acre  for  breaking 
varied  from  $2.50  to  $4.50,  as  the  man  was  boarded  or  as  he  "found  himself." 
In  latter  years  when  it  was  learned  that  flax  could  be  raised  to  good  advantage 
on  new  breaking,  and  that  it  helped  to  rot  the  sod,  the  breaking  season  com- 
menced much  earlier. 

Three  yokes  of  good-sized  oxen  drawing  a  24-inch  plow,  with  two  men  to 
manage  the  work,  would  ordinarily  break  about  two  acres  a  day;  five  yokes  with 
a  36-inch  plow,  requiring  no  more  men  to  "run  the  machine,"  would  break  three 
acres  a  dav.  When  the  plow  was  kept  running  continuously,  the  "shear"  had  to 
])e  taken  to  the  blacksmith  as  often  as  once  a  week  to  be  drawn  out  thin,  so  that 
a  keen  knife-edge  could  be  easily  put  on  it  with  a  file  by  the  men  who  managed 
the  plow.  If  the  team  was  going  around  an  80-acre  tract  of  prairie,  the  "lay"  or 
"shear"  had  to  be  filed  after  each  round  to  do  the  best  work.  The  skillful 
"breaker"  tried  to  run  his  plow  one  and  one-half  inches  deep  and  no  deeper. 
This  was  for  the  purpose  of  splitting  the  sod  across  the  mass  of  tough  fibrous 
roots,  which  had  lain  undisturbed  for  uncounted  years  and  had  formed  a  net- 
work of  interlaced  sinews  as  difiicult  to  cut  as  india  rubber,  where  the  prairie 
was  inclined  to  be  wet;  and  it  was  not  easy  to  find  an  entire  80-acre  tract- that 
was  not  intersected  with  numerous  "sloughs,"  across  which  the  breaking-plow 
had  to  run.  In  many  places  the  sod  in  these  "sloughs"  was  so  tough  that  it  was 
with  the  greatest  difficulty  that  the  plow  could  be  kept  in  the  ground.  If  it  ran 
out  of  the  ground,  this  tough,  leathery  sod  would  flop  back  into  the  furrow  as 
swiftly  as  the  falling  of  a  row  of  bricks  set  up  on  end,  and  the  man  and  driver 
had  to  turn  the  long  ribbon  of  tough  sod  over  by  hand,  if  they  could  not 
make  a  "balk."  In  the  flat,  wet  prairie,  it  sometimes  took  from  two  to  three 
years  for  the  tough  sod  to  decompose  sufficiently  to  produce  a  full  crop.  The 
plow  had  to  be  kept  in  perfect  order  to  turn  this  kind  of  prairie  sod  over,  and 
the  "lay"  had  to  have  an  edge  as  keen  as  a  scythe  to  do  good  work.  There 
were  usually  two  "lays"  or  "shears"  fitted  to  each  plow,  so  that  the  team  need 
not  be  idle  while  the  boy  with  the  mustang  went  often  from  five  to  eight  miles 
to  the  nearest  blacksmith  to  get  a  "lay"  sharpened.  Sometimes  tlie  oxen 
would  stray  ofl:  among  the  "barrens,"  or  follow  the  course  of  some  stream 
for  miles  and  hide  among  the  willows  to  take  a  vacation,  and  frequently  they 
were  not  found  until  after  two  or  three  days  of  weary  search  by  the  men  and 
boy,  while  the  plow  which  ought  to  be  earning  six  or  nine  dollars  a  day  was 
lying  idle  on  the  great  prairie. 

There  were  men  who  equipped  a  "brigade"  for  breaking  and  carried  on  a 
thriving  business  from  about  the  first  day  of  May  to  the  end  of  July. 

When  the  rush  of  immigration  began  in  the  spring  of  1854,  there  were  not 
nearly  enough  breaking  teams  in  the  country  to  supply  the  demand.  In  some 
cases  the  "new-comers"  would  consent  to  have  a  portion  of  their  prairie  farms 
broken  up  in  April,  and  on  this  early  breaking  they  would  plant  "sod  corn."     The 


248  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

process  was  simple;  a  man  with  an  axe  would  follow  the  line  of  every  second  or 
third  furrow,  strike  the  blade  deep  in  the  ground,  a  boy  or  girl  would  follow  and 
drop  three  or  four  kernels  of  corn  into  the  hole  and  bring  one  foot  down  "right 
smart"  on  the  hole  in  the  sod,  and  the  deed  was  done.  No  cultivation  was  re- 
quired after  planting,  and  in  the  fall  a  half  crop  of  corn  was  frequently  gathered 
without  expense.  Those  who  were  not  able  to  get  breaking  done  at  the  best  time 
for  subduing  the  sod,  were  often  glad  to  have  some  done  in  the  latter  part  of 
July  or  the  first  half  of  August.  So  for  several  years  the  "breaking  brigades" 
were  able  to  run  their  teams  for  four  months  each  year,  and  it  was  profitable 
business. 

With  all  their  crudeness,  with  all  their  exposure,  with  all  their  privations 
and  hard  times — for  there  were  hard  times  in  those  days — yet,  the  pass- 
ing of  those  pioneer  days,  with  the  quaint  old  "prairie  breaking  plow,"  the 
string  of  oxen,  the  old  prairie-schooner  wagon,  the  elk  and  deer,  with  now  and 
then  a  buffalo,  the  prairie  chickens,  the  "dug-outs,"  sod  houses,  and  log  cabins, 
give  to  us  old  pioneer  settlers  a  tinge  of  sadness  difficult  to  express  in  words ; 
for  with  all  these  have  gone  a  great  deal  of  that  community  and  fellowship 
of  neighborhood  feeling,  so  common  and  so  heartily  expressed  from  one  to  an- 
other in  the  abounding  hospitality  and  in  the  kindly  exchange  of  help  in  those 
days.  Then  those  living  miles  apart  were  friends  and  neighbors.  Now  the  fam- 
ilies living  on  adjoining  quarter  sections  are  strangers.  Today  it  seems  that  each 
one  thinks  he  must  "go  it  alone,"  as  did  the  old  "prairie  breaking-plow,"  which 
usually  did  go  it  alone,  for  it  was  so  constructed  as  to  hold  itself ;  except  at  the 
beginning  and  at  the  end  of  the  furrows  there  was  little  handling  of  the  rear  end 
of  the  long  lever.  It  was  easily  made  to  take  the  sod  and  to  leave  it  at  the  farther 
end. 

While  we  say  good-bye  to  this  bygone  "breaking-plow,"  let  us  not  forget  that 
it — like  those  early  and  hardy  pioneers,  rude  through  they  were  in  some  respects, 
like  the  old  plow  and  other  tools  in  that  day — has  bequeathed  to  us,  who  are 
reaping  the  rich  harvest  of  the  sowing,  an  inheritance  of  which  we  can  be 
proud,  and  for  which  I  most  truly  hope  we  are  grateful. 

Willowedge  Farm,  Near  Ft.  Dodge,  May,  191 2. 

THE   OLD   PRAIRIE    SLOUGH 

By  Charles  Aldrich 

Among  the  characteristic  landmarks  of  old-Towa  which  are  now  becoming 
obsolete,  the  prairie  slough  was  one  of  the  most  conspicuous  and  the  most  neces- 
sary to  be  reckoned  with.  During  the  springs  and  summers  of  long  ago  one 
heard  a  great  deal  about  them.  They  were  the  terror  of  travelers,  for  in  those 
days  we  had  no  railroads,  and  the  Western  Stage  Company  was  often  compelled 
by  the  bottomless  condition  of  the  roads  to  abandon  their  coaches  and  use  com- 
mon lumber  wagons  instead.  A  long  and  strong  rope  was  often  indispensable, 
both  with  the  coaches  and  lumber  wagons.  It  was  tied  to  the  tongue  of  the 
vehicle  which  had  been  "sloughed  down,"  and  the  teams  were  placed  out  on  solid 
ground  where  they  could  pull  their  very  utmost.  It  was  sometimes  necessary  to 
pry  uj)  the  wheels,  and  it  came  to  be  a  saying  that  the  traveler  must  carry  with 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  249 

him  a  fence  rail  in  order  to  do  his  part  in  the  business.  In  some  extreme  cases 
he  had  Hterally  to  '"work  his  passage."  When  I  came  into  Iowa  in  1857  the  rail- 
road extended  west  of  Dubuque  only  thirty  miles.  From  there  on  we  journeyed 
in  a  lumber  wagon,  in  which  we  carried  our  few  household  belongings,  and  the 
type,  cases  and  stands  for  a  small,  old-fashioned  printing  office.  A'ery  fortu- 
nately my  wife  and  sister  rode  in  a  buggy.  The  No.  3  Washington  hand  press 
was  wagoned  through  later.  Our  route  was  close  to  the  present  track  of  the 
Illinois  Central  Railroad.  We  had  several  times  to  unload  our  lumber  wagon  and 
carry  our  freight  across  by  hand.  In  the  outskirts  of  the  village  of  Independence 
we  saw  a  wagon  w^ith  a  much  lighter  load  than  ours  stuck  fast  in  the  center  of 
a  wide  slough.  How  the  poor  man  and  team  were  extricated  from  this  forlorn 
place  we  never  knew,  for  they  were  too  far  out  in  the  mud  and  water  for  us  to 
attempt  to  reach  them.  The  sloughs  were  very  plenty  on  this  long  road  of  150 
miles,  and  we  often  had  to  use  all  our  skill  to  get  through  or  around  them. 

Hon.  L.  S.  Coffin,  the  well-known  lowan,  who  has  made  his  name  illustrious 
through  his  beneficient  labors  in  behalf  of  railroad  employes, — a  reform  of  which 
he  was  the  sole  originator, — migrated  into  Webster  county  from  the  south.  He 
had  a  heavily  loaded  wagon,  in  which  the  members  of  his  family  were  also  rid- 
ing, and  when  he  attempted  to  cross — near  the  site  of  the  present  village  of  Strat- 
ford, Hamilton  county — one  of  those  wide,  deep  sloughs,  through  which  if  you 
went  one  way  you  would  likely  wish  you  had  gone  another,  his  wagon  stuck  fast. 
His  team  could  not  move  an  inch  and  he  was  in  much  perplexity,  for  that  wide 
stretch  of  country  as  far  as  eye  could  reach  was  without  a  house.  But  leaving 
things  as  they  were,  he  started  out  on  foot  to  see  if  he  could  find  anyone  to  help 
him.  He  soon  descried  a  man  with  tw^o  or  three  yoke  of  oxen — a  "breaking 
team" — a  couple  of  miles  away.  On  reaching  him  he  found  a  ready  helper  who 
started  at  once  with  his  teams  to  get  him  out  of  his  trouble.  On  reaching  the 
spot  this  was  readily  accomplished.  Mr.  Coffin  was  very  grateful  and  wanted  to 
pay  the  rough-looking  young  man  for  what  he  had  done.  But  the  latter  refused 
to  take  anything.  Mr.  Coffin  tried  to  force  upon  him  a  $5.00  l)ill.  But  the  man 
was  incorrigible.  Mr.  Coffin  next  bethought  him  of  a  bottle  of  whisky  wdiich 
had  luckily  been  l^rought  along  to  be  handy  in  case  of  "snake-bites,"  but  the 
prairie-breaker  w"as  equally  set  against  taking  a  drop  of  whisky.  Mr.  Coffin,  who 
was  possibly  less  an  advocate  of  prohibition  than  he  afterwards  became,  scarcely 
knew  what  to  make  of  a  frontiersman  who  would  neither  take  pay  for  so  good 
a  job  nor  indulge  in  "a  pull"  at  the  whisky  bottle.  That  event  occurred  some 
fifty-seven  years  ago.  Mr.  Coffin  "still  lives"  on  his  farm  near  Fort  Dodge.  Mr. 
Maxwell,  who  helped  him  out  of  the  slough,  was  one  of  the  heroes  of  the  Spirit 
Lake  Expedition  and  of  the  great  Civil  war. 

The  prairie  slough  was  always  an  interesting  object  and  a  wonder  to  me.  hi 
the  winter  it  would  be  frozen  solid — as  cold  and  dead  as  an  iceberg.  Some  of 
the  larger  ones,  however,  would  be  studded  with  muskrat  houses,  huge  piles  of 
coarse  weeds  and  mosses,  which  the  animals  tore  up  from  the  bottoms  of  the 
sloughs.  These  creatures  wintered  in  their  houses  safe  from  everything  except 
the  spears  of  the  ^lusquakie  Indians.  But  in  the  summers  the  prairie  sloughs 
were  fairly  alive,  and  with  a  variety  of  life.  Several  species  of  small  mollusks — - 
coiled  shells — the  names  of  which  the  reader  may  find  in  any  elementary  book 
of  conchology,  if  he  is  curious  about  such  matters,  had  lived  and  died  in  our 


250  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

prairie  sloughs  for  countless  ages.  The  winds  drifted  the  bleached  and  empty 
shells  ashore,  where  they  often  looked  like  piles  of  small  white  gravel.  Several 
species  of  birds  nested  in  the  weeds  and  coarse  grasses  which  grew  out  in  the 
water.  Yellow-headed  blackbirds  were  the  most  conspicuous.  They  were  about 
the  size  of  the  purple  grackle  (crow  black-bird)  which  often  comes  nowadays 
into  our  cities  and  towns  to  build  its  nest  and  rear  its  young  in  the  shade  trees. 
The  head  and  neck  almost  to  the  shoulders  were  a  bright  yellow  and  glistened 
like  polished  gold.  They  were  very  beautiful  birds,  but  their  notes  were  ter- 
ril)lv  harsh — as  distressing  as  the  filing  of  a  saw.  The  beautiful  red-wings  also 
made  their  homes  in  the  sloughs,  as  did  the  marsh  wrens.  They  ingeniously 
wove  together  several  stalks  of  coarse  grass  and  made  themselves  strong  nests, 
safe  from  predatory  wolves  and  foxes.  In  point  of  numbers  the  red-wings  far 
surpassed  the  others,  breeding  every  summer  by  millions  in  our  prairie  sloughs. 
The  nests  of  the  marsh  wrens  were  marvels  of  ingenuity.  When  minks  were 
plenty,  they  also  had  their  abodes  in  and  about  the  sloughs.  Ducks,  geese  and 
cranes  summered  in  these  damp  regions,  often  appropriating  the  muskrat  houses 
for  their  nests.  And  there  were  mosquitoes  beyond  any  computation.  They 
simply  swarmed  in  clouds. 

Myriads  ,of  beautiful  dragon-flies — "devil's  darning  needles'" — were  also 
evolved  in  these  prairie  sloughs.  The  young  dragon-fly,  in  the  first  stage  in 
which  it  would  interest  a  common  observer,  was  an  ill-looking,  scraggy,  rough 
water  bug.  But  it  presently  grew  tired  of  living  under  water,  and  on  a  warm, 
sunshiny  day,  crawled  up  one  of  the  weed-stalks.  Finding  a  fit  place  for  ridding 
itself  of  its  old  clothes,  it  sat  down  to  wait.  After  a  while  as  it  dried  ofif  in  the 
sun.  the  back  of  the  head  cracked  open  and  a  new  head,  shining  like  a  diamond, 
was  slowly  protruded.  Its  back  also  soon  split  open  and  the  new  creature  slowly 
came  forth  with  a  little  bundle  compactly  rolled  up  on  the  middle  segment  of  its 
body.  As  the  sun  continued  to  warm  the  insect  the  bundle  unfolded,  stretching 
out  into  gauzy  wnngs.  If,  at  this  juncture,  you  frightened  it,  the  smart  young 
dragon-fly  promptly  flew  away.  Its  birth  and  education  were  things  of  its  brief 
]:)ast  and  it  was  "ready  for  business" — keen  to  enjoy  all  the  pleasures  of  its  brief 
existence.  The  old  shell  closed  up  as  the  new  insect  left  it,  and  remained  a  dry, 
grav  husk,  clinging  by  the  stift'ened  limbs  to  the  support  selected  for  this  curious 
transformation  scene. 

Xo  two  prairie  sloughs  were  alike.  We  had  ponds  or  lakelets,  where  the 
water  was  open,  in  rare  instances  abounding  with  fish — and  others,  where  the 
surface  was  covered  with  dense  growths  of  bulrushes  and  coarse  grasses,  which 
looked  black  when  seen  from  a  little  distance.  One  could  go  around  such  places 
dry  shod.  Little  valleys  with  but  gradual  descent,  down  which  the  water  slowly 
crept  through  the  grass  roots  and  the  black  ooze,  were  also  called  sloughs,  as 
were  wide  reaches  of  swamp  lands.  These  last  were  the  teamsters'  and  travelers' 
terror,  for  it  was  impossible  to  go  around  them.  In  the  spring  and  in  rainy  sea- 
sons they  became  almost  impassable,  and  when  a  wagon  stuck  fast  the  horses  or 
oxen  had  a  wonderful  penchant  for  lying  down,  no  doubt  in  great  discourage- 
ment—  and  there  you  were ! 

In  July,  1859,  I  made  a  journey  to  Spirit  Lake.  Cyrus  C' Carpenter — years 
afterwards  one  of  our  distinguished  governors — was  easily  persuaded  to  go  with 
me  and  show  me  the  way,  which  was  scarcely  more  for  many  a  weary  mile  than 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  251 

a  dim  trail.  He  was  familiar  with  every  mile  of  the  journey  and  I  was  not. 
The  weather  was  so  extremely  warm  that  my  horse  gave  out  on  the  treeless, 
houseless,  25-mile  prairie  between  the  Des  Moines  river  and  the  lake,  and  we 
had  to  stop  on  the  road  until  the  sun  went  down,  and  travel  until  one  o'clock  in 
the  morning,  to  reach  our  destination.  While  resting  on  the  ground  in  the  shade 
of  the  buggy  we  became  very  thirsty.  Finally  Carpenter,  pointing  southwest, 
asked  me,  "  Do  you  see  that  patch  of  black  grass?"  I  saw  it  plainly  though  it 
Vv'as  half  a  mile  distant.  "There,"  he  remarked,  "is  plenty  of  water,  and  I  will 
go  -and  get  some."  After  long  plodding  through  the  long  prairie  grass  he  re- 
turned with  half  a  pail  of  water.  It  contained  fragments  of  decaying  bulrushes, 
and  was  doubtless  alive  with  animalcula,  but  in  my  terrible  thirst  I  never  tasted 
anything  more  refreshing.  The  grass  was  black^dark  green — because  it  grew 
tall  and  rank  in  the  mud  and  water.  Carpenter  had  learned  all  about  "black 
grass"  in  his  work  as  government  surveyor. 

The  prairie  slough  also  entered  into  our  local  politics  in  this  way;  we  had 
somebody  running  for  office  every  year,  much  as, we  do  nowadays.  One  of  "the 
sloughs"  that  some  of  these  patriots  used  to  set  up  was  that  they  had  "waded 
sloughs"  in  the  interests  of  pioneer  settlers.  I  remember  stating  editorially  in 
replv  to  one  of  these  "claims,"  that  imdoubtedly  in  coming  time  monuments 
would  be  set  up  to  mark  places  where  some  of  these  illustrious  men  had  entered 
the  sloughs  and  where  they  came  out  on  the  farther  sides.  I  had  my  own  ex- 
4)erience  in  the  sloughs,  and  can  recall  many  instances  in  which  my  buggy  stuck 
fast,  the  horses  fell  down,  and  I  had  to  jump  into  the  water — and  be  very  quick 
about  it,  too — and  loosen  the  harness  to  s^ve  the  poor  beasts  from  drowning. 

Among  the  precious  schemes  adopted  by  ambitious  people  for  draining 
sloughs,  I  recall  one  which  was  in  the  highest  degree  unique — far  ahead  of  any 
ever  devised  by  the  late  Colonel  George  E.  Waring,  Jr.,  our  great  American 
authority  in  that  field  of  usefulness.  These  drainage  "experts"  were  reported  to 
have  "invented"  this  plan :  A  large  ditching-plow  was  drawn  by  means  of  long 
ropes  and  several  yoke  of  oxen,  across  the  shallow  enclosed  ponds,  from  one  side 
to  the  other,  simply  making  a  large  furrow,  but  providing  no  outlet  whatever. 
This  was  termed  "draining  the  swamp  lands."  It  used  to  be  asserted  in  those 
early  days  that  some  of  these  thrifty  operators  occasionally  found  county  author- 
ities along  the  frontier  weak  enough,  or  dishonest  enough,  to  grind  out  warrants 
and  pay  for  such  work.    And  thus  they  doubtless  "made  money." 

But  what  changes  have  been  wrought !  The  prairie  slough  is  almost  as  much 
a  thing  of  the  past  as  the  deer  or  the  buffalo.  Tile  drainage  and  the  obvious 
changes  in  our  climate  have  made  dry  land  of  their  beds,  and  many  species  of 
animals  and  birds  which  once  dwelt  in  them  have  entirely  disappeared.  Even  the 
large  aquatic  and  w^ading  birds  no  longer  pass  this  way,  or  come  and  go  in  very 
diminished  numbers.  Some  species  may  also  be  very  near  extinction.  Cultivated 
fields  occupy  the  places  where  the  little  lakes  and  ponds  shimmered  in  silvery 
brightness  fifty  years  ago. 

/  THE  HISTORY  OF  DRAINAGE 

There  is  a  lack  of  literature  on  the  subject  of  drainage.  This  is  probably 
due  to  the  fact  that  drainage  is  comparatively  new.     Irrigation  is  ancient.     It  is 

Vol.  1—1  7 


252  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

as  old  as  the  knowledge  of  man.  Tile  drainage  on  the  other  hand  is  less  than  a 
century  old.  \Mlliam  Smith,  an  eminent  English  geologist,  in  an  article  pub- 
lished in  1834,  recommended  deep  plowing  and  drainage  as  a  means  of  increas- 
ing the  productiveness  of  farm  lands.  This  would  indicate  that  the  subject  was 
at  that  time  a  new  one.  In  1846  England  passed  a  law  to  loan  money  at  low 
rates  of  interest  to  farmers  to  drain  their  farms  in  the  interest  of  agriculture,  and 
public  health.  This  is  probably  the  first  law  passed  by  any  government  in  the 
interest  of  drainage  of  farm  land. 

In  1825  a  Scotchman  bought  a  farm  in  New  York  state.  It  had  the  reputa- 
tion of  being  worn  out.  When  leaving  his  home  to  take  a  ship  for  America  he 
saw  fires  burning  by  the  wayside  as  he  looked  out  of  the  wdndow  of  the  coacli 
in  which  he  was  riding.  He  asked  the  coachman  what  it  meant.  The  coachman 
laughingly  said,  "Oh,  some  fools  are  burning  crockery  to  put  in  the  ground." 

On  inquiry  Johnson  learned  that  tile  were  being  made  for  the  purpose  of 
drainage.  It  set  him  thinking.  He  concluded  that  such  an  improvement  would 
be  valuable.  He,knew  his  neighbors  would  ridicule  him  and  he  would  be  a  sub- 
ject for  all  the  jokes  of  the  community,  but  he  was  too  strong  a  character  to  be 
laughed  down. 

He  shipped  tile  from  his  coimtry  and  when  they  were  being  laid  his  neigh- 
bors watched  the  process  with  interest  and  made  wise  observations.  They  asked 
how  water  could  get  into  them,  how  would  the  water  overcome  the  pressure  of  the 
atmosphere  at  the  outlet  and  get  out  of  the  tile.  They  would  freeze,  they  would 
crush,  they  might  poison  the  land.  They  would  draw  the  water  to  them  and 
make  the  land  too  wet ;  they  would  dry  out  the  land  in  the  summer.  But  the 
Scotchman  did  not  weaken,  and  the  tile  were  put  in  the  ground.  This  was  in  1835, 
and  we  believe  it  was  the  first  used  in  the  United  States.  It  was  known  as  horse- 
shoe tile.  It  was  made  open  on  one  side  and  was  laid  on  the  open  side  in  the 
ditch.    The  tile  were  laid  from  two  to  twenty  feet  apart. 

To  us  this  seems  extravagant,  but  we  must  remember  that  this  man  was  do- 
ing a  new  work.  He  had  no  man's  experience  to  which  he  might  appeal  to  guide 
him.  The  philosophy  of  tiling  had  not  been  developed.  The  whys  and  where- 
fores were  unanswered.  It  is  probable  he  would  have  gotten  as  good  results 
with  less  work  and  expense,  but  he  did  well,  and  his  name  should  l)e  among  the 
great  and  valuable  men  of  our  country. 

The  theories  and  dolorous  predictions  of  the  neighbors  were  shattered  when 
the  tile  began  to  do  business.  The  poor  and  worn-out  farm  in  a  few  years  took 
the  blue  ribbon  from  the  State  Agricultural  Society  for  being  the  best  tilled  and 
arranged  farm  in  the  state.  The  wheat  raised  on  the  farm  took  the  first  premium 
for  the  greatest  yield  and  superior  quality.    The  tile  won  the  day. 

In  a  bulletin  published  by  Mr.  J.  O.  Wright,  supervising  drainage  engi- 
neer, Washington,  D.  C,  he  makes  the  statement  that  the  first  authentic  record 
of  any  drainage  law  in  the  United  States,  was  that  of  a  law  enacted  by  the  -gen- 
eral  assembly  of  New  Jersey,  September  12,  1872.  In  this  statement  he  is  in 
error,  for  the  general  assembly  of  Iowa  passed  a  drainage  law,  which  was  ap- 
proved by  the  then  Governor  C.  C.  Carpenter  on  April  24,  1872.  This  was  nearly 
five  months  prior  to  the  enactment  of  the  New  Jersey  law.  To  Iowa,  therefore, 
belongs  the  honor  of  passing  the  first  drainage  law  in  the  United  States ;  and  to 
Governor  Carpenter  belongs  the  honor  of  having  signed  it. 


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HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY  253 

This  law  was  made  applicable  to  counties  of  10,000  and  more  inhabitants. 
The  law  was  enacted  no  dou])t  for  the  eastern  portion  of  the  state,  as  there  was 
not  a  county  in  the  northwestern  part  of  the  state  at  that  time  with  that  many  in- 
habitants, nearly  half  of  the  counties  of  the  state  then  had  less  than  10,000 
population. 

Then  it  is  probable  that  this  provision  was  to  protect  the  non-resident  land 
owner.  A  large  portion  of  the  population  in  this  part  of  the  state  were  home- 
steaders and  did  not  at  that  time  have  patents  on  their  land  and  were  not  required 
to  pay  taxes  until  they  had.  Rut  they  could  have,  if  permitted,  formed  drain- 
age districts,  the  expense  of  which  might  have  been  more  than  the  value  of  all 
the  land  in  the  district.  The  land  then  could  be  purchased  for  $2.50  to  $5.00 
per  acre.  The  provisions  of  this  law  for  forming  drainage  districts  remained  in 
force  until  about  six  or  eight  years  ago,  when  they  were  declared  to  be  uncon- 
stitutional by  the  supreme  court  of  the  state.  The  law  was  amended  from  time 
to  time  to  meet  the  requirements  of  the  growing  condition  of  the  state. 

The   first  drainage  work   in   Webster  county   was   begun   in   the   year    1893. 
The  preceding  year  a  petition  of  the  interested  landholders  had  been  presented 
to  the  board  of   supervisors,  asking  for  the  construction   of   an   open   ditch   in 
Cooper  township.     At  the  April,   1893,   session  of  the  board,  the  petition  was 
granted,  and  a  ditch  was  constructed  over  and  across  sections  13,  14,  15,  22,  23, 
24,  27,  28,  and  33  of  township  89,  range  2-/,  Cooper  township.    In  excavating  this 
ditch  70,957  cubic  yards  of  dirt  were  removed.     The  total  cost  of  the  ditch  was 
$9,000.     In  a  few  years  the  ditch  began  to  fill  up  and  soon  became  practically 
useless  as  a  drain.     In  the  year  1891,  the  board  of  supervisors  after  an  examina- 
tion of  the  ditch  reported  that  it  was  practically  worthless.     Soon  after  that  a 
petition  was  filed  with  the  county  auditor  asking  that  the  ditch  be  cleaned.    Under 
the  law  at  that  time  it  was  necessary  to  appoint  commissioners  to  appraise  the 
damages  and  to  fix  assessments.     On  account  of  the  large  amount  of  money 
which  the  ditch  had  cost  originally,  it  was  feared  that  the  additional  expenses 
of  cleaning  would  not  meet  with  favor  among  the  most  of  the  people  owning  the 
lands  within  the  drainage  district.     This  caused  the  matter  to  be  delayed  from 
time  to  time.     Neither  the  board  of  supervisors  or  the  auditor  took  any  action 
upon  the  matter.     However,  on  August  30,  1902,  Judge  J.  R.  Whitaker  of  the 
eleventh   judicial   district   issued  a  writ   of   mandamus   in   a  case   entitled  J.   J. 
Ryan  et  al.  vs.  J.  F.  Ford,  auditor,  ordering  the  repair  and  improvement  of  the 
Cooper  township  ditch.     No  action,  however,  was  taken  under  the   writ;  and 
May  31,    1904,  A.   N.   Botsford  and  six  others  again   filed  a  petition  with  the 
county  auditor  asking  for  the  construction   of  a   drainage  ditch,  which   in  the 
words  of  their  petition  would  "trace  the  course  of  a  ditch  repaired  and  con- 
structed about  ten  years  since,  and  which  has  become  obstructed  and  insufficient 
for  drainage  purposes."     This  time  the  board  took  action  upon  the  petition  and 
L.  L.  Merrill  and  J.  A.  Adams,  disinterested  resident  landholders  of  Webster 
county,  and  C.  H.  Reynolds,  county  surveyor  of  Webster  county,  were  appointed 
as  commissioners  to  inspect  and  classify  all  the  lands  afifected  by  the  proposed 
ditch.     The  commissioners  reported  July  29,  1905,  and  notice  of  assessment  was 
served  on  all  interested  parties  by  W.  C.  Woolsey,  deputy  sheriff,  on  August  9, 
1905.     After  considerable  delay  because  of  inability  to  secure  bids,  the  work  was 
finally  let  to  Messrs.  T'oyles  and  Lizenby,  who  completed  the  ditch.     This  ditch 


25i  HISTORY  OF  WEBSTER  COUNTY 

was  the  cause  of  much  litigation,  and  cost  the  county  more  than  the  construction 
of  the  original  ditch. 

The  second  drainage  district  established  was  in  1904,  and  was  established 
under  the  law  of  that  year,  being  the  first  district  to  be  established  under  the 
present  drainage  law.  It  includes  lands  lying  principally  in  Lost  Grove  and 
Dayton  townships  and  drains  what  is  known  as  the  Blair's  Lake  district. 

At  the  present  time  there  are  163  drainage  districts  in  Webster  county.  At 
the  close  of  the  year  191 2  the  total  amount  spent  for  drainage  work  in  these 
districts  was  $1,250,162.  The  cost  per  acre  of  this  drainage  was  from  nothing 
to  a  maximum  of  $45  per  acre.  However,  it  has  practically  doubled  the  value 
of  the  farm  lands  within  the  drainage  district.  In  addition  to  the  amount  spent 
for  district  drainage,  there  has  been  an  even  larger  amount  spent  for  private 
drains.  This  class  of  drainage  is  generally  tile  ditch,  while  the  work  in  the  drain- 
age districts  is  both  open  ditch  and  tile. 

FARMERS  CO-OPERATIVE  MOVEMENT 

By  C.  G.  Messerole 

In  these  days  when  "Big  Business"  turns  to  co-operation  as  an  alternative 
from  a  return  to  cut-throat  competition,  or  to  continued  strife  in  the  courts  as 
a  result  of  a  "Joy  Riding,'"  which  has  finally  exhausted  the  patience  of  a  long 
suffering  public,  it  seems  proper  that  in  the  history  of  Webster  county  there 
should  appear  the  story  of  one  of  the  first  really  successful  co-operative  busi- 
ness enterprises  ever  conducted  in  the  United  States. 

A  glance  at  the  co-operative  map  of  Iowa,  at  once  locates  Webster  county  as 
the  very  center  of  the  co-operative  industry.  The  reason  for  this  is :  first,  that 
Webster  countv  is  the  center  of  an  intelligent  rural  citizenship ;  second,  that  it 
is  the  center  of  a  rich  agricultural  section;  and  last,  but  by  no  means  least,  be- 
cause of  the  sturdy  character  of  the  rural  population  that  would  no  longer  sub- 
mit to  a  further  exploitation  of  the  resources  of  the  soil,  and  the  toil  of  her 
husbandmen. 

In  the  year  1901,  a  group  of  farmers  of  Gowrie  and  Lost  Grove  township 
met  in  a  country  school  house  in  the  vicinity  of  Gowrie,  for  the  purpose  of  de- 
vising some  plan,  whereby  the  local  market  for  farm  produce  might  be  freed 
from  the  restrictions  which  surrounded  it.  They  were  laughed  at,  jeered  at,  and 
even  threatened;  but  they  stuck  to  the  main  purpose,  that  of  establishing  the 
right  to  market  their  produce  in  their  own  way,  and  to  buy  such  goods  as  they 
saw  fit  through  their  own  agency.  They  asked  no  rebates  or  special  privileges. 
All  thev